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What is Meteorite?

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A galaxy is a mysterious place for all of us. In space, many cosmic incidents occur constantly. Some of them are extremely unknown to us. Also, the scientist has found the reasons for many cosmic incidents by their research. Among these cosmic incidents, meteorites are a known object to us. Now, we are going to define meteorites and discuss some facts about meteorites. It is a solid piece of a cosmic object such as an asteroid, meteoroid, comet, etc. Meteorites originate in outer space and pass through the atmosphere of any planet or satellite. It is known as the falling star or shooting star on the earth.

Meteorite Meaning

The meaning of the word meteorite is a piece of rock landed on the earth from outer space. Almost all the meteorites are made of rock. Some other meteorites are made of iron or nickel. The meteorites fall on the planets as a part of an asteroid, meteoroid, or comet. In space, these cosmic objects break into small parts by various cosmic reactions. The small parts survive in space and pass through the atmosphere of the planet and satellites. When the meteorite passes through the atmosphere of a planet or a satellite, it faces some factors such as pressure, weather, friction, chemical interactions with gases. As a result, it heats up and radiates energy. Finally, when it falls on a planet, it becomes a fireball. On the earth, these fireballs are known as falling stars.

Formation of Meteorites

There are many cosmic reactions and incidents ongoing in space constantly. The formation of meteorites is one of them. The source of meteorites are comets, meteoroids, asteroids, etc. These cosmic objects always wander around space. While wandering, they collide with other cosmic objects and break into small parts. Also, these cosmic objects can be broken by some cosmic reactions. The small pieces of the main objects somehow survive in space and become meteorites. The meteorites often pass through the atmosphere of planets and satellites. They face many reactions and forces in the atmosphere. If the gravitational energy of any planet or satellite becomes greater than the meteorite, it falls on its surface. The meteorite falls there as hot pieces of rock.

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Types of Meteorites

Depending on the material of the meteorites, they are classified into three types- iron meteorites, stony meteorites, and stony-iron meteorites. Iron meteorites are made of mainly iron, nickel, and minerals. It also contains a little amount of carbide and sulfide minerals. Most of the meteorites are stony meteorites with silicate minerals. Stony meteorites are of two types – chondrites, and achondrites. Chondrites are made from older cosmic objects of the solar system. Achondrites are made from the materials of the asteroids, the moon, mars, etc. Both types have different types of composition. Stony-iron meteorites include some amount of iron-nickel and silicate minerals in the composition. It is of two types- pallasites, and mesosiderites. Pallasites have big and beautiful olive-green crystals, which are made of magnesium-iron silicate, mesosiderites contain different types of rock, minerals, and metals in their composition.

Meteorite Impacts

When the meteorites pass through the atmosphere, they face some frictions and reactions. They come into the atmosphere of any planet or satellite and fall on their surface. For the frictions and reactions, the meteorite heats up and falls as hot pieces of rock. Small size meteorites don’t affect anything on the planet or satellite. If the size of the meteorites is big, it can make a hole on the surface and also can affect the surroundings by heat.

Meteorite Use

The meteorites contain stardust during formation. From the stardust, we can know about star formation and evolution. The stardust gives an idea about the formation of stars. From the structure of the meteorites, we can have an idea about the age and composition of the solar system. Also, meteorites give information about the geological history of planets and satellites, the evolution of the solar system, the history of life, etc.

Facts About Meteorites

Now, we are going to discuss some interesting facts about meteorites.

  • Each day millions of meteorites pass through the atmosphere of the earth.

  • Around 500 meteorites should reach the surface of the earth every year.

  • During the collision of a meteorite with the atmosphere, it is vaporized and leaves a trail called the meteor.

  • If so many meteors appear in the sky at the same time, it is called the meteor shower.

  • The meteor shower occurs for the cross of the orbit of the earth and comet.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What Does Meteorite Mean?

Ans: Meteorite means a piece of earth landed on the earth from outer space. Most of the meteorites are made of stone and minerals. That is why meteorites are known as pieces of heated rocks. Meteorites are the small parts of cosmic objects such as meteoroids, asteroids, comets, etc. These cosmic objects break into small parts by collision or cosmic reactions. These parts wander around space and pass through the atmosphere of the planets and satellites. When the gravitational energy of any planet becomes greater than the meteorite, it enters into the atmosphere of the planet. The pieces of rocks heat up for the frictions and fall on the planet.

2. What is the Importance of Meteorites?

Ans: Meteorites are the pieces of cosmic objects, which land on the surface of the planets. They give us a huge knowledge about outer space. If the meteorites are small, they don’t affect anything on the planets. The big size meteorites can make holes on the planet's surface. From the structure and the composition of the meteorites, the age and evolution of the solar system can be predicted. As the meteorites contain stardust, they can be observed to know the formation of stars. By analyzing the composition, cutting-edge, components of a meteorite, the solar system evolution process can be known. Also, meteorites tell us about the history of life.