Space is an intriguing place. Full of surprises, space can also be super confusing. One of the many confusions that often manage to make the lives of students hell is the concept of Meteorite. From those space debris that fall Earth to those fleeting flashes of lights in night sky – everything is just very confusing. We will clear those confusions in this article on meteorite facts. Stay with us because things can get slightly confusing. We will try to keep things as simple as possible. In order to understand, we need to start from asteroids.
Meteorite Facts: 1-5 | What is a Meteoroid?
1. Meteoroids are rocks from space. They are small in size. They can break apart from asteroids. Compared to asteroids, the meteoroids are very very very small.
2. Now the question is, ‘what are asteroids?’ Well, they are also space rocks. They are very massive. They hang around in universe and they bang with each other and break apart forming smaller rocks that are meteoroids. Asteroids can even hit planets and their satellites.
3. Meteoroids can originate from comets as well. Comets are essentially small celestial objects and usually made of ice and dust. When comets get closer to Sun, they lose some of the gas and dust, which form the meteoroids.
4. Now the question that naturally comes in is, how big are meteoroids? Well, there is no definitive answer to this. Some sources say that meteoroids can be up to 10 meters wide while some other sources say that they any space rock or object which is smaller than 1 kilometer in width is a meteoroid.
5. One thing that everyone unanimously accepts is that meteoroids are usually very small are often only a few millimeters wide or less.
Meteorite Facts: 6-10 | What is a Meteor?
6. In night sky we often see fleeting flashes of lights. They are meteors. But what causes those flashes?
7. They are basically caused by meteoroids. When meteoroids enter into the atmosphere of Earth, they heat up and then burn and vaporize.
8. When the meteoroids burn in our atmosphere, they produce that fleeting flash of light that we so very often call the ‘Shooting Star’ or ‘Falling Star’.
9. Truth is that they are not stars. They are simply the meteoroids that entered Earth’s atmosphere and burned up. The light we see is because of the burning. The trail of light or the flash we see is cause because of the speed with which the meteoroid is traveling.
10. So, when a meteoroid enters into Earth’s atmosphere and burns up, it is known as meteor.