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Our subscribers' grade-level estimate for this page: 3rd - 4th
Table of Contents Enchanted Learning
All About Astronomy
Site Index
Our Solar System Stars Glossary Printables, Worksheets, and Activities
The Sun The Planets The Moon Asteroids Kuiper Belt Comets Meteors Astronomers

Meteoroids, Meteors, and Meteorites
What's the Difference? Meteoroids
Space Debris
Meteors
Falling through the Atmosphere
Meteor Showers Meteorites
On Earth
Quiz

METEOROIDS

Meteoroids are small bodies that travel through space. Meteoroids are smaller than asteroids; most are smaller than the size of a pebble. Meteoroids have many sources. Most meteoroids come from asteroids that are broken apart by impacts with other asteroids. Other meteoroids come from the moon, from comets, and from the planet Mars.

Meteoroid Orbits
Meteoroids orbit around the Sun; different meteoroids travels at different speeds and in different orbits. Some meteoroids orbit together (called stream component); these are probably comet remnants). Other meteoroids are in sporadic (seemingly random) orbits.

The fastest meteoroids travel at roughly 26 miles per second (42 km per second) through space.

Spacecraft Damage from Meteoroid
Meteoroids have done minor damage to spacecraft, including the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). About 100 tiny craters and chipped areas have been found on the HST; they were caused by impacts with tiny meteoroids.

Meteoroid Links
Meteoroids from NASA's Starchild web site.



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