The Barringer meteor was very small compared to the object that created the Chicxulub Crater in the Yucatán 65 million years ago. That is the one that is theorized to have led to mass extinctions. It is estimated to have been 6 to 15 kilometers in diameter.
Meteors are sometimes called "shooting stars" or "falling stars." Most are only bits of gravel the size of your fingernails or smaller. They are the leftover debris from the formation of the solar system. Many are part of rivers of debris scattered by passing comets. If the Earth passes through one of these rivers of debris, we have a meteor shower. Occasionally the Earth passes through a very dense area of the river, and we have a meteor storm with hundreds of thousands of streaks per hour.
The best time to see meteors is between midnight and dawn. That's when you are on the part of the Earth that is "in front" as it travels through space. In fact, at dawn you are on the very bow of the ship.
On an average day about 4 billion meteors enter our atmosphere, totaling more than a hundred tons. Debris enters the earth's atmosphere and gets heated by friction because it travels at such high speed, 10 to 70 kilometers per second. For a few seconds they streak across the sky. The brightness we see is actually the hot ionized gasses surrounding the object. Usually the object completely burns up before hitting the ground, but some are large enough to survive and impact the ground. These are called meteorites.
Sometimes a meteor will enter the atmosphere weighing several kilograms. these are spectacular events called fireballs. The glowing trail following fireballs sometimes continues to glow for up to 30 minutes. Fireballs are typcially the brightest objects in the night sky. If you see a fireball, remember to take a quick look at how distinct your shadow is. Also, listen carefully, sometimes fireballs explode. Exploding meteors are called bolides.
This is a pyramid of dim light seen in the west after evening twilight or in the east after morning twilight. It is light scattered from the Sun by countless micro-meteoroidal particles along the plane of the solar system. The best time to look for the subtle effect is under a moonless sky, in late February or late September, when the ecliptic is at a steep angle with the horizon. Look carefully to the west on a late February evening just as twilight is ending, or in the east in late September just before sunrise.
German for "counter-glow," this is caused by micro-meteoroidal material in space at the anti-solar point. By refectling sunlight they are acting as millions of tiny "full moons." Like zodiacal light, the effect is best seen in late February or late September under moonless skies.