I've heard of this mysterious meteor event myself, and I've often wondered if there is a specific trigger. As mentioned by my colleague @Ubi-TheBerry, our understanding is that this event is random and rare. It would be a bit odd to constantly see meteors falling out of the skies after all I've reached out to the team to see if we can get any more information on this event, though, and whether there are any specific triggers that make it more likely to happen.
You can indeed get resources back from downgrading equipment, @SpirantCrayon22! You should get the resources you used to originally upgrade the gear back, so this can vary between the level and quality of the item you're downgrading. You should be able to preview what resources you should get back in the downgrade menu at the Blacksmiths, if you are interested in seeing what you'll get back from the downgrade.