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All About Astronomy
|Our Solar System||Stars||Glossary||Printables, Worksheets, and Activities|
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|Meteoroids, Meteors, and Meteorites|
|What's the Difference?||Meteoroids
Falling through the Atmosphere
Just before a meteor enter's the Earth's atmosphere, it is moving at roughly 70 kilometers per second. The friction between the fast-moving meteor and the gas in the Earth's atmosphere causes intense heat; the meteor glows with heat and then burns. Most meteors burn up before hitting the Earth. Only large meteors can survive the trip through our atmosphere.
A fireball is any meteor that is brighter than Venus (magnitude -4).
A meteor shower is a phenomenon in which many meteors fall through the atmosphere in a relatively short time and in approximately parallel trajectories. A very intense meteor shower is called a meteor
A meteorite is a meteor that has fallen to Earth. These rare objects have survived a fiery fall through the Earth's atmosphere and have lost a lot of mass during that process. Meteorites are made up of rock and/or metals.
Take a quiz on meteoroids, meteors, and meteorites.
Meteoroids, Meteors, and Meteorites: Do a fill-in-the-blanks (cloze) activity on meteoroids, meteors, and meteorites. Answers.
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