A meteor or "shooting star" is the visible streak of light from a meteoroid or micrometeoroid, heated and glowing from entering the Earth's atmosphere, as it sheds glowing material in its wake. Meteors rarely explode in the Earth's atmosphere. The term has become associated with quickness with the adjective "meteoric." In the context of myth and superstition, meteors and comets sighted in Ancient and Medieval Europe were once held as ill omen, said to be the message of the heavens' displeasure of man's affairs to herald grave catastrophes.
Pieces that withstand atmospheric ablation are known as meteorites, but the name of the spell in the series refers to the overall phenomenon.
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