Meteorites are popularly known as "space rocks," and they fall to earth from out of space. As you would expect, they fall to ground at incredibly high speed — at speed estimated to be a hundred times faster than an airplane. Wow, that's pretty fast!
Zipping through the air at such tremendous speed makes the meteorites hot — which is why they give off light like stars. Thus, the popular name — Shooting stars!
How Big Are Meteorites?
In 2013, a meteorite that is as big a house landed in a city in Russia. However, not all meteorites are as large. Most meteors are tiny, and they and they explode on contact with the earth. Space pictures show craters on the surface of the earth's moon.
Sometimes, "space stones" make it through our atmosphere without disintegrating. Thus, creating craters on the surface of the earth.
The good news is that craters on earth's surface usually get waged off my rain while plants overgrow others. The Barringer Crater in Arizona is among one of such craters that still exist.
Let's share a bit of earth history with you
Sixty-five million years ago, back when dinosaurs still existed, a large asteroid struck earth, and it formed the famous Chicxulub crater. When the asteroid struck earth, it caused a tsunami suspected of being responsible for the extinction of dinosaurs.
What Are Meteors Made Of?
What meteorites are made of is usually a tough question to answer. Some of them look like rocks, while others look like metal. However, they have something in common— they look scorched.
If you are wondering where they meteorites come from, don't worry, we have got the answer for you as well.
Like how the earth goes around the sun — rotation, countless rocks go around the sun. These rocks differ by size, and they can be categorized as either comets or asteroids. The largest among these rocks is called Ceres, and it is kilometers wide — so you can imagine its size.
Asteroids are named so because they shine like stars while comets look like snowballs, and they leave a trail behind them as they travel through space.
Interestingly, comets and asteroids are crumbles of planets that collided so many years ago. Remember how we said that meteors looked like both metal and stone? How about we let you in on some fun fact?
Like many other planets, the earth is stony on the outside and metallic in the core or center, explaining why some meteorites look like stones, and others look like metal.
How Can We Tell Where Meteorites Come From?
Thanks to scientific research and advancement in technology, meteorites can be examined closely to assess the air bubbles trapped in them — if you can identify the air bubble trapped in them, you can tell where they came from.
Hopefully, this article provides insight into meteorites and have answered most of your questions about meteorites. Look out for our next post for more information on astronomy.