Distinguish between meteoroid, meteors and meteorite

Distinguish between meteoroid, meteors and meteorite

Meteoroid, meteor, and meteorite are related terms that describe different stages of an object’s journey through Earth’s atmosphere. Here’s how they are distinguished:

  1. Meteoroid: A meteoroid is a small rocky or metallic object that exists in space. It is typically smaller than an asteroid and larger than a dust particle. Meteoroids can range in size from a grain of sand to several meters in diameter. They are remnants from the early solar system or fragments resulting from collisions between larger bodies like asteroids or comets. Meteoroids are found throughout the solar system, but they are most commonly found in areas like the asteroid belt.
  2. Meteor: When a meteoroid enters the Earth’s atmosphere and begins to burn up due to the intense heat generated by air friction, it becomes a meteor. The bright streak of light that we see in the sky as a meteor is commonly known as a shooting star. Meteors can produce a glowing trail behind them as they burn, and they often appear as quick flashes of light. Most meteors completely disintegrate in the atmosphere before reaching the Earth’s surface.
  3. Meteorite: If a small portion of a meteoroid survives its journey through the atmosphere and lands on the Earth’s surface, it is then referred to as a meteorite. Meteorites are the remnants of meteoroids that have withstood the atmospheric entry and impact with the Earth’s surface. They can range in size from tiny fragments to large masses weighing several tons. Meteorites provide valuable scientific information about the composition and history of the solar system.

In summary, a meteoroid is a small object in space, a meteor is a meteoroid that is burning up in the Earth’s atmosphere, and a meteorite is a meteoroid that has survived the journey and landed on the Earth’s surface.

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