A meteor (shooting star) is the visible trail left by a particle of debris entering the Earth's atmosphere. Most are sand grain/pebble sized, friction with the air causing extreme heating and the visible glow. Meteorites are larger particles that survive to hit the ground.
These are random meteors seen in any part of the sky coming from any direction, and are seen at an average rate of four per hour.
When the Earth's orbit passes through the trail of debris left by a comet there is an increase in the rate of meteors seen. These meteor showers occur at the same time of year, their appearance spanning a few days or weeks. They have a peak rate of tens or possibly hundreds of meteors per hour.
The trails of meteors in a shower trace back to a distinct point in the sky, the radiant. This is a line of sight effect, the meteors can originate in any part of the sky. Showers are usually named after the nearest bright star in the constellation hosting the radiant. Follow a link below for details of the most significant showers.