Meteors and Air Molecules
As Geminids are proven to be slower, the light is mainly green. But, even after a meteor passed, it takes some time for the energy level of the air molecules to fall back to its normal stage. So, you get to see that shimmering light tail for some time. Sometimes, that light might get accompanied by smoke. It is quite rare for a meteor to survive and crash onto the ground. On a medium scale, one meteor the size of a basketball falls on the Earth’s surface every month. To reach the Earth’s surface, the meteorite must start large enough so that it doesn’t burn out entirely during its journey through the atmosphere.
In January 2018, a space boulder crashed down west of Detroit, Michigan. Nearly 50,000 years ago, another bigger one excavated around 175 million tons of rock in Arizona. It left a Barringer crater, which is approximately 1 mile wide and 570 feet deep. Meteors that survived to reach a lower atmosphere get to hit more air resistance and burn pretty bright as a result. These are called fireballs. The December Geminid and the Perseids from August produce more significant numbers of these fireballs.