What is Meteorite: Definition and 51 Discussions

A meteorite is a solid piece of debris from an object, such as a comet, asteroid, or meteoroid, that originates in outer space and survives its passage through the atmosphere to reach the surface of a planet or moon. When the original object enters the atmosphere, various factors such as friction, pressure, and chemical interactions with the atmospheric gases cause it to heat up and radiate energy. It then becomes a meteor and forms a fireball, also known as a shooting star or falling star; astronomers call the brightest examples "bolides". Once it settles on the larger body's surface, the meteor becomes a meteorite. Meteorites vary greatly in size. For geologists, a bolide is a meteorite large enough to create an impact crater.Meteorites that are recovered after being observed as they transit the atmosphere and impact the Earth are called meteorite falls. All others are known as meteorite finds. As of August 2018, there were about 1,412 witnessed falls that have specimens in the world's collections. As of 2018, there are more than 59,200 well-documented meteorite finds.Meteorites have traditionally been divided into three broad categories: stony meteorites that are rocks, mainly composed of silicate minerals; iron meteorites that are largely composed of ferronickel; and stony-iron meteorites that contain large amounts of both metallic and rocky material. Modern classification schemes divide meteorites into groups according to their structure, chemical and isotopic composition and mineralogy. Meteorites smaller than 2 mm are classified as micrometeorites. Extraterrestrial meteorites have been found on the Moon and on Mars.

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  1. pinball1970

    Spectacular meteorite footage from Turkey

    The kid should have been dragged out of the way but still a good video. https://news.sky.com/video/turkey-possible-meteor-lights-up-sky-in-erzurum-12953951 Green flare? A few metals have a green flame test. @davenn
  2. Astronuc

    Meteorite - home delivery - and warm

    Apparent meteorite crashes through roof of home: "It was warm" https://www.yahoo.com/news/apparent-meteorite-crashes-roof-home-132553636.html
  3. O

    Meteorite with something inside?

    I have this rock that I'm assuming, after research, is a meteorite. When you shake it slightly you can hear something knocking around on the inside. Whatever is inside, from the sound, doesn't seem to be hard like the outside. Any ideas what this could be? Curiosity is about to kill this cat!
  4. Astronuc

    What is the $25,000 reward for finding a meteorite in Maine?

    Miami Herald on Yahoo - Bright ‘fireball’ flew over Maine and crashed, NASA says. Whoever finds it gets $25,000 https://www.yahoo.com/news/bright-fireball-flew-over-maine-222426474.html Hey, Dave - FYI
  5. Astronuc

    Meteorite from El Ali, Hiiraan, Somalia (2020) 9th largest - 15 tonne

    https://www.ualberta.ca/folio/2022/11/new-minerals-discovered-in-massive-meteorite-may-reveal-clues-to-asteroid-formation.html https://www.ualberta.ca/institute-for-space-science-exploration-and-technology/symposium2022/index.html...
  6. Strato Incendus

    What Are Realistic Mid-Journey Disasters in Interstellar Travel?

    Alright, since I’m still stuck on my sci-fi story because I can’t exactly outline the mid-point plot twist with a realistic catastrophe on board an interstellar spaceship, I thought I’d widen the scope a little — towards full-on open brainstorming: What, if anything, can realistically go wrong...
  7. Astronuc

    B Ivuna meteorite from edge of solar system to Tanzania?

    Scientists find the source of one of the rarest meteorites to fall on Earth https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/technology/scientists-find-the-source-of-one-of-the-rarest-meteorites-to-fall-on-earth/ar-AA13ejQe Terrestrial modification of the Ivuna meteorite and a reassessment of the chemical...
  8. Aidan

    Could This Beach Find in Italy Be a Meteorite?

    Hello! My friend found a rock on a beach near Ancona, in central Italy, and now he's convinced it's a meteorite. I have some doubts, however: it looks too cracky and porous. I'm attaching a few pictures of the rock: could someone give me an opinion? Thank you very much for the kind attention...
  9. Yoppakung

    Solving a Meteorite Problem: What Equations Should I Use?

    I don't know what principle or equation should I start thinking. The one I tried was using the law of conservation, but I found that I didn't know the speed of the meteorite. Anyone have any advice on what principles or equations I should use to get started?
  10. K

    B Rock Found in Field Turns Out to Be 4.6GY Old Meteorite

    A small fragment of rock found lying in a field in Gloucestershire in the UK may not have looked like much to the casual passerby ... I'm curious how this was found, if not by a "casual passerby". Did there happen to be a meteorite expert wandering in the Gloucestershire field?
  11. H

    Identify if a Meteorite? Fusion Crust, Magnetic, Olivine

    How did you find PF?: Google search Can someone help me to identify weather it is a meteroite or not? It has fusion crust,it is magnetic,it has metal flakes,it has meteorite crystal orange olivine and I may have rub 2 times that too hard to obtain the streak.
  12. davenn

    Stargazing Roberto's Indonesian Punggur Meteorite: My 2021 Collection Addition

    A new meteorite into my collection from Roberto Vargas (USA) - The Indonesian Punggur, first fall for 2021 (Jan 28) 1.2g of awesomeness, high iron breccia Thanks so much buddy, much appreciated
  13. kolleamm

    B Is it a Meteorite? Las Vegas Hiker Finds 81.7g Object

    I was hiking today in the desert in Las Vegas and I came across this. It weighs about 81.7g and feels pretty heavy for its size which is about 1.85in across the longest distance. What do you think it is?
  14. M

    Is Your Heavy Rock with a Brown Streak a Meteorite?

    I recently found this rock...it is very heavy, leaves a distinct brown mark on unfinished white tile, and was quite difficult to cut a piece off from a corner. Could it be a meteorite? Please reach me at [personal e-mail deleted by a Mentor]
  15. davenn

    I What are the Characteristics of a Perfect Meteorite?

    I have spent the last few months searching for my first meteorite over 1kg I had a number of requirements that I wanted to fulfill as much as possible 1) Orientation - so it could be easily seen which "face" was the one being highly heated and melted 2) Flow lines 3) Regmaglypts - sometimes...
  16. MeteoriteChina

    B Is this a star before it hit the ground on Earth?

    hi guys, I have a rock, I think its a complete star or maybe core meteorite, what do you think about it? It was found a few months ago in mountains in Shandong Province in China. desc: composition:Nickel iron diameter: 4cm weight:264g Regards Leonard
  17. MeteoriteChina

    Can You Help Identify My Meteorites?

    hi guys, I'm Leonard from Beijing, China, I would like to make some friends to help identify my meteorites, thx.
  18. davenn

    A SPACE ROCKS: Latest meteorite into my collection

    I have a bit of a love affair with rocks that come from outer space. To hold a piece of rock that has zoomed through space for zillions of years before finally crashing to Earth still gives me that WOW factor. I have around 55 samples in my collection from many different falls around the world...
  19. Clay Gillespie

    B Angular Meteorite Strikes on the Moons Surface

    Summary: An explanation into the mechanisms that make irregular shaped meteorites, including some up one tenth the size of the moon, seemingly vanish, leaving symmetrical craters with surprisingly shallow floors. We’re going to look at the initial conditions of the moons formation from the...
  20. abdelatif025

    Any help to identify if this is a Meteorite?

    Hello, I just found about 7 rocks seems as an oval, when I was drilling, I found a big simple rock and when I broke it I foud them, I wondered, and I just gussing that's a meteorites, Here is 2 photos of them, I will be very thankful to help me identify them, Thanks in advaced,
  21. jim mcnamara

    Is the Hypatia Stone Meteorite Older than Earth?

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/01/180109112437.htm The Hypatia Stone is a small meteorite from SW Egypt. Petrographic and chemical analysis by a group of researchers mostly from University of Johannesburg found element abundances and other unique chemical anomalies in the meteorite...
  22. epenguin

    Watching Meteorites: A Night of Mystic Well-Being

    Are you going out tonight? I mean out of doors to watch the sky. In a bit I will be going out onto our terrace, and lie back. Which I have done from the last two nights - not all night of course. But at least that long enough to see one at least one meteorite. I don't give up until I see at...
  23. |Glitch|

    Atmospheric Heating from Meteorite Impact

    I am proposing a collision between Earth and the Centaur 10199 Chariklo (a.k.a. 1997 CU26). For the actual collision information I used the "Impact Earth" website from Purdue University. This is the data I used: 10199 Chariklo (a.k.a. 1997 CU26) Diameter: 248 ± 18 km (334 x 266 x 172 km)...
  24. collinsmark

    Meteorite Identification (xkcd, funny)

    Today's xkcd: http://meteorites.wustl.edu/check-list.htm']Meteorite[/PLAIN] Identification [Source: http://www.xkcd.com/1723/] Clicking on the image gives you a link to an actual flowchart: Self-Test Check-List {image does not support hot-linking, so I removed direct link to flowchart...
  25. 1oldman2

    Identifying Meteorites: Differentiating Between Extraterrestrial and Earth Rocks

    While visiting Wyoming recently I was shown a "rock" that several people have said is a meteorite. My question is how does one identify a meteorite compared to an Earth rock. (Hoping you can help me out here Dave) I have included several photos and I can say it definitely shows signs of high...
  26. xpell

    Antipodal seismic focusing after an impact: real or not?

    Reading about meteorites, I have found this idea of "antipodal earthquakes" or "antipodal vulcanism" after a major impact several times. There seems to be perfectly good papers for and against, together with the usual crankish "information." There also was a thread here about the issue almost 4...
  27. Rectifier

    Age of Meteorite: Calculating Half-Life

    The problem statement The ratio between stable Argon atoms(##^{40}Ar##) and radioactive Potassium atoms(## ^{40}K##)in a meteorite is 10.3. Assume that these Ar atoms are produced by decay of Potassium-atoms, whose half-life is ## 1.25 \cdot 10^9 ## years. How old is the meteorite? Translated...
  28. P

    Rate of loss of mass of a meteorite

    Is there a general or approximative equation for the loss of mass, of a meteorite as it travels through the atmosphere? For example as a function of something like its speed, surface area, the drag force experienced by the meteorite.
  29. P

    Modeling Meteorite Re-Entry Speeds: A Study of Drag and Impact on Earth

    I have been given the assignment to model the entrance of meteorite in Earth's atmosphere, and ultimately it's impact with earth. The meteorite weighs 0.025kg, and has the speed 28.6km/s 50km vertically above the surface of the earth, giving it a Reynolds number of approximately 3.5*10^7. The...
  30. S

    Calculating Initial Speed of a Meteorite Based on Energy Transformations

    It's not homework training problems...I have the answers but I get wrong ans. Homework Statement problem 1 What was the initial speed of a meteorite of mass 1 kg if a total of 18 MJ of thermal and other forms of energy were produced during its fall through the atmosphere of a planet and its...
  31. Andre

    What caused the massive explosions in Russia?

    Apparantly there is no thread about it yet. http://gawker.com/5984470/apparent-meteorite-crash-in-russia-causes-giant-explosions-forces-evacuation-of-nearby-offices-and-schools?utm_campaign=socialflow_gawker_facebook&utm_source=gawker_facebook&utm_medium=socialflow Check the dashboard cam...
  32. H

    Figuring Out Mysterious Meteorite: Speed, Trajectory & More

    Hello, I have figured out the basics so far, but perhaps someone could help me figure out a bit more. I observed this meteorite moving across the sky, looking like a low airplane glowing bright bright orange. from the american meteor site (http://www.amsmeteors.org/fireballs/faqf/#1), this...
  33. J

    Asteroid, Meteorite, Meteoroid, or Meteor?

    So I know a meteoroid is the small thing floating in space while an asteroid is the large one. I know a meteor is the streak of light a meteoroid creates as it falls through the atmosphere and a meteorite is what remains after the impact on the Earth. Also, that meteorites can sometimes be...
  34. A

    Breccia meteorite smashed into summer house in the middle of Oslo

    One of the "hidden jewels" in Oslo is the so-called Rodeløkka Colony Garden district. Here, encircled by "normal" buildings in a city, you find tiny summer houses, with idyllic garden plots and fruit trees. It is very charming, but is off limits for those not having direct connection to the...
  35. J

    Nickel - Meteorite Separation

    Hi everyone! I'm looking to separate nickel from a meteorite sample and I have a pretty solid plan... however I'd like to know if there are any disadvantages of using the following methods: Quinoxoline Complexation with Spectrophotometric Determination (using pre-separation to remove...
  36. E

    NASA NASA Scientist Claims Evidence of Alien Life on Meteorite

    http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011/03/05/exclusive-nasa-scientists-claims-evidence-alien-life-meteorite/ When you consider the intergalactic scale and that there are something like 3x10^24 stars it seems so probable that life would exist--even in more complex forms. I heard that other labs...
  37. P

    Meteorite strikes Earth; Change in rotational frequency

    Homework Statement Suppose a 5.7×10^10 kg meteorite struck the Earth at the equator with a speed 3.0×10^4 m/s, making a 45 degree angle (see figure) and remained stuck.By what factor would this affect the rotational frequency of the Earth (1rev/day)? Homework Equations It seems...
  38. F

    Falling Meteorite - Gravitation PE + KE

    Homework Statement A satellite in a circular orbit around the Earth with a radius 1.021 times the mean radius of the Earth is hit by an incoming meteorite. A large fragment (m = 65 kg) is ejected in the backwards direction so that it is stationary with respect to the Earth and falls directly...
  39. Astronuc

    What is the Rare 40-Pound Meteorite Found in Oregon?

    I caught this headline on Yahoo, but didn't read it. Rare 40-Pound Meteorite Identified in Oregon http://www.ksee24.com/news/local/95272349.html Scientists Confirm Decade-Old Oregon Meteorite DIscovery http://news.opb.org/article/7495-scientists-confirm-decade-old-oregon-meteorite-discovery/
  40. Z

    Impact of 300km Meteorite on Early Earth's Surface

    What would it be like if a 300 km diameter meteorite hit the early (first 1 Byrs) Archean surface? Hint: a smaller impact on Kilawea surface in Hawaii.
  41. T

    Work and Kinetic Energy of meteorite

    Ok, so the question is: A 27-pound meteorite struck a car and created a dent about 22cm deep. If the initial speed of the meteorite was 550m/s, what was the average force exerted on the meteorite by the car? Since this question is in the work/kinetic energy chapter I assumed I'd have to...
  42. S

    Resolving the Age Discrepancies of Meteorite Dating: A Scientific Analysis

    You find a meteorite and measure a rubidium-strontium age of 4.5 billion years. However, the gas retention age of the meteorite is 1.5 billion years, and the cosmic ray exposure age of the meteorite is 10 million years. When did the meteor form? How can you reconcile the three different age...
  43. P

    What is the Magnitude of Force Exerted on a Meteorite Striking a Car at 530 m/s?

    Homework Statement A 27 pound meteorite fell and struck a car, creating a dent about 28 cm deep. If the initial speed of the meteorite was 530 m/s, what was the magnitude of the average force exerted on the meteorite by the car? Homework Equations Vf^2=Vi^2+2ad F=ma The Attempt at...
  44. K

    How Much Energy Would a Meteorite Impact Release Compared to an Atomic Bomb?

    Homework Statement On August 10, 1972, a large meteorite skipped across the atmosphere above western United States and Canada, much like a stone skipped across water. The accompanying fireball was so bright that it could be seen in the daytime sky (Fig. 7-24). The meteorite's mass was about 4...
  45. Evo

    Will a Comet Fragment Strike Earth in May 2006?

    As Wednesday morning dawned, northern Norway was hit with an impact comparable to the atomic bomb used on Hiroshima. http://www.aftenposten.no/english/local/article1346411.ece
  46. D

    Realistic Meteor Impact Modelling: Is This YouTube Video Accurate?

    i found this video on youtube.com. Basically it is a modelling of how the Earth will be affected when a meteor hit Earth. Heres the link: http://youtube.com/watch?v=3JHdYBet_4Q I wonder, is this modelling close to a realistic modelling? P/s: It is in japanese.
  47. Gokul43201

    Did the Meteorite Strike Earth? Latest News

    So, did it hit, or didn't it ? Any news yet ? http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/4642845.stm http://www.voanews.com/english/2005-07-03-voa32.cfm
  48. J

    Meteorite heading towards earth

    Hi ppl. I have a short question. A meteorite of mass m has a velocity u=2.00*10^4 m/s when it is at an infinite distance from the earth. It eventually collides with the eath with a velocity v. Calculate v. given are the radius of earth(6.37*10^6m) and go=9.80Nkg^-1) I used the argument that...
  49. A

    Are micro-organisms fossils on so-called Martian meteorite true?

    Are micro-organisms fossils on so-called Martian meteorite true? I think it is more likely contaminated by life on Earth...