The burning meteor that causes a shooting star can vary from the size of a grain of sand to a 1-meter-long object. As the meteor falls through the atmosphere, it burns up and gives the appearance of a star falling.
Shooting stars are caused by floating space debris or from the debris trail left by a passing comet. Shooting stars are most common during meteor showers that occur annually. It is possible for some larger meteors to reach the ground without completely breaking up in the atmosphere. When a part of a meteor reaches the ground intact, it is called a meteorite.