Essentially meteor are small particles in space that can range in size from something pebble sized down to that of a grain of sand. Comets, or sometimes asteroids, will either shed these particles or break apart completely. The particles spread out in a a sort of line.
These particles come into contact with out atmosphere, traveling anywhere from 25,000 to 160,000 miles per hour (11km/second to 72 km/second). When they smash into molecules in our air the energy produced creates a flash of light and acts like a tiny comet with a tail. That's the streak we see from the ground.
The differences in the speeds in which the meteors hit our atmosphere is affected by the Earth's speed as it travels around the sun.
Until next time, Happy Reading and don't forget to take some time to go outside and look UP!