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Difference Between Meteoroids and Meteorites for JEE Main 2024

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Last updated date: 14th Jul 2024
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Meteoroids and Meteorites: Introduction

It's a cold night, and you gaze up at the stars, which are glittering and peaceful in the dark sky. Then a light streaks across the sky before disappearing. "Wow, a shooting star," you think to yourself. "It was a meteor." Is it a meteorite, or what? Or is that a meteoroid?" 


This article will tell you interesting facts about meteoroids and meteorites, the difference, and what is meteoroids and meteorites, etc.


Category:

JEE Main Difference Between

Content-Type:

Text, Images, Videos and PDF

Exam:

JEE Main

Topic Name:

Difference Between Meteoroids and Meteorites

Academic Session:

2024

Medium:

English Medium

Subject:

Physics

Available Material:

Chapter-wise Difference Between Topics


What is Meteoroid?

A meteoroid is a piece of space debris that orbits the sun. Small particles of rock or iron left over from the creation of a solar system constitute the debris. Asteroid crashes or comet debris might also cause them.


Asteroid is defined as any stony or iron space debris greater than 1 cubic meter; thus, if a meteoroid is larger than 1 cubic meter, it is classified as an asteroid. As previously stated, most meteoroids are extremely tiny. They can even resemble dust. A comet is a frozen gas and rock mixture. These frozen gases hold the rocks together. 


They begin to melt when they cross the sun throughout their orbit, causing bits of the rock, called meteoroids, to break off into space. When this happens, numerous meteoroids might collide with Earth at the same time, resulting in a meteor shower. A meteor shower is a showering of meteors in the Earth's atmosphere during which many meteors can be seen in a short period of time.


What is Meteorites?

A meteorite is a tiny asteroid that can range in size from a few millimeters to one meter. Meteoroids travel at speeds ranging from 11 to 72 kilometers per second as they enter the Earth's atmosphere. Meteorites are generally quite small, but their sizes can range from a fraction of a gram (the size of a pebble) to 100 kilograms (220 lbs). Micrometeorites are meteorites that are smaller than 2mm in size.


Meteorites are classified into three basic types based on their structure, chemical and isotopic composition, and mineralogy. Stony meteorites are rocks formed primarily of silicate minerals; iron meteorites are primarily composed of metallic iron-nickel; and stony-iron meteorites contain a significant proportion of both metallic and rocky material.


Difference Between Meteoroids And Meteorites:

The table given below differentiates between meteoroids and meteorites.

S.no.

Parameter

Meteoroids

          Meteorites


Definition

A space object in orbit around the sun is referred to as a meteoroid. The debris is made up of tiny pieces of rock or iron that were left over after the solar system was formed.

A meteorite is a particle of rock or iron that starts in space as a meteoroid or asteroid and survives passage through the atmosphere as a meteor to crash the Earth's surface.


Types

There is no type.

Meteorites have generally been classified into three types. Stony, iron, and stony-iron meteorites are all types of meteorites.



Size

Usually, less than ten meters.

They can range in size from a fraction of a gram to 100 kilograms.


Origin

Others are produced by asteroids, others by comets, and others are even produced by the Moon and other planets. 

Meteorite comes from outer space.


Composition

The majority of meteoroids are composed of heavier metals like nickel and iron as well as the silicate minerals silicon and oxygen.

Meteorites are made up of metal, magnetic elements, and nickel.


Facts About Meteoroids:

Following are some of the scientific facts on meteoroids-


  • Most fireballs go unnoticed because they occur over water or during the day.

  • Hoba, the largest undamaged meteorite, is an iron meteorite weighing approximately 132,000 pounds.

  • A meteoroid system is formed when meteoroids shed by a comet orbit together in a formation.

  • Every year, two major meteor showers occur: the Perseids in August and the Geminids in December.

  • The vast majority of meteoroids in our Solar System are asteroids and comet fragments.

  • Meteors can emit a variety of colors when they burn, depending on their composition.

  • Because water covers more of the Earth's surface than land, most meteors end up in the ocean.

  • A meteor (also known as a shooting star or falling star) is a meteoroid that has entered the Earth's atmosphere.


Facts About Meteorites:

Following are some of the scientific facts on meteorites-


  • A meteoroid is a small piece of space rock. A meteor is anything that burns up as it enters the Earth's atmosphere. If a fragment of it lands, it's known as a meteorite.

  • Every day, millions of meteoroids pass through the Earth's atmosphere, but the majority are minor and burn up fast. Few make it to the ground.

  • When a meteoroid enters the Earth's atmosphere, it can travel at speeds of up to 130,000 mph (209,215 km).

  • It is unlawful in South Africa to buy and sell meteorite fragments. Exporting meteorites that have landed in Australia is also prohibited since they are considered "property of the Crown."

  • Meteorites that are observed or detected as they land are referred to as "falls," whereas those that are discovered afterward are referred to as "finds."

  • Meteoroids are space rocks with diameters of less than one meter. Asteroids are those that are larger than one meter in size.

  • Only five or six of the estimated 500 meteorites that hit the ground each year are retrieved for scientific examination.


Summary

Meteors are debris particles ranging in size from sand grains to massive rocks that are dispersed throughout the Solar System. When these little and large objects are dragged by the Earth's gravity, the friction of the atmosphere causes a brilliant trail of their descent, which we name "shooting stars" or "meteorites" in the common vernacular. This object (meteoroid) can sometimes reach the ground without completely burning up in the atmosphere, giving rise to the term "meteorite."


Every day, over 2.5 million meteorites, asteroids, and other space debris enter the Earth's atmosphere, resulting in approximately 15,000 tonnes of material entering the atmosphere each year.

FAQs on Difference Between Meteoroids and Meteorites for JEE Main 2024

1. What is meteoroids?

Meteoroids are rock or iron lumps that orbit the sun in the same way that planets, asteroids, and comets do. Meteoroids, particularly the tiny particles known as micrometeoroids, are abundant throughout the solar system. They orbit the sun alongside the rocky core planets and the gas giants that comprise the outer planets. 


Meteoroids can even be discovered in the outskirts of our solar system, in regions known as the Kuiper belt and the Oort Cloud. Different meteoroids orbit the sun at varying speeds and in varying orbits. The fastest meteoroids go through the solar system at about 42 kilometers (26 miles) per second.

2. What is meteorites?

A meteorite is just a rock that falls from space to Earth. Meteorites are rocks, but not the same as Earth rocks. Most are far older, and they represent some of the only samples we have of other worlds in our solar system, including planets, asteroids, and probably comets. Some meteorites even contain small particles that formed around stars other than our Sun.


Scientists rely on meteorites for information about the history of our solar system because they are old fragments of these celestial bodies. Meteorites have helped us comprehend the origins of our solar system, how planets and asteroids formed, and how huge meteorite strikes have changed Earth's history and life on our planet.

3. Differentiate between meteoroids and meteorites.

A space object in orbit around the sun is referred to as a meteoroid. The debris is made up of tiny pieces of rock or iron that were left over after the solar system was formed whereas a meteorite is that has touched down on Earth.

4. How often do meteorites strike?

Smaller attacks, according to experts, occur five to ten times per year. Large meteors, like the one seen in Russia on Friday, are infrequent, but they still happen around every five years. According to Addi Bischoff, a mineralogist at Germany's University of Muenster. Most of them land in lonely places where they cause no harm to humans.

5. How often do meteorites strike?

Smaller attacks, according to experts, occur five to ten times per year. Large meteors, like the one seen in Russia on Friday, are infrequent, but they still happen around every five years. According to Addi Bischoff, a mineralogist at Germany's University of Muenster. The majority of them land in desolate places where they cause no harm to humans.