When you look up at the sky at night and see a streak of light or something which is called shooting star then you are actually seeing a meteor. A small piece of rock or debris which travels through space towards the earth is called a meteoroid. If fragments of small planets which are shattered by collision occurred earlier, travels to our planet then they are called Meteorite.
Quick Facts: –
- A meteoroid can reach up to 10m in diameter.
- The fastest meteoroid travel through the solar system at a speed of around 26mph.
- During the lower light conditions, it becomes easy to see meteors.
- Meteoroids are similar to asteroids but significantly smaller.
- A few meteoroids follow a path that goes into the atmosphere of our planet and then back out again. They are called earth grazing balls of fire.
- When a large number of meteors occur in a particular part of sky in a close time frame then it is called a meteor shower.
- Many meteor showers occur when comets leave debris behind while orbiting through the solar system.
- More than 500 meteorites reach the surface of our planet every year but only 1% of them make it to scientists for study.
- There are three different types of meteorites: – stony, iron, stony-iron.
- When meteoroids shed by a comet orbit together in a formation, is called a meteoroid system.
- Most meteoroids are made of silicon and oxygen or metals like nickel and iron. Metallic meteoroids are dense and massive as compared to stony meteoroids.