It was amazing what happened just 9 days ago in Russia. If you haven't heard of it, here it is:
Good news no one was hurt. Well, what is it? It is a rock, alien in origin and it comes from outer space. It is a meteorite!
Meteorites are rocky objects from space that strike Earth. When meteorites pass through Earth’s atmosphere, they get heated and their surfaces become ionized, causing them to glow brightly, forming a streak moving across the atmosphere known as a shooting star or fireball.
If the meteorite is large enough, it may not burn up in the atmosphere and will then strike Earth. Small meteorites may just crash on the surface, but the rare, large object can excavate a large impact crater, or do worse damage.
At certain times of the year Earth passes through parts of the solar system that are rich in meteorites, and the night skies become filled with shooting stars and fireballs, sometimes as frequent as several per minute. Examples of these high-frequency meteorite encounters, known as meteor showers, include the Perseid showers that appear around August 11 and the Leonid showers that appear about November 14.
Here is a Nasa video something about the Perseids:
Meteor showers are way cool! But in case a meteor hits the ground, one for sure is, that it would create a big hole in the ground. And that is scary. A Crater shown below. This one is called the Barringer Crater in Arizona.
If ever a meteorite happens again I would certainly hope that in my lifetime it would only be to give us a good aerial lights show. :-)
Encyclopedia of Earth and Space Science. p. 59.