Meteoroids and Meteorites - Research Article from World of Earth Science

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Meteoroids and Meteorites

The word meteor is derived from the Greek meteron, meaning something high up. Today, however, the term is used to describe the light phenomena produced by the entry of a meteoroid into Earth's atmosphere. A meteoroid is defined to be any solid object moving in interplanetary space that is much larger than an atom or a molecule, but smaller than a few meters in diameter. A visual meteor, or shooting star, is produced whenever a meteoroid is vaporized in Earth's upper atmosphere. If a meteoroid survives its passage through the atmosphere without being fully vaporized and falls to the ground, it is a called a meteorite.

Upon entering Earth's upper atmosphere, a meteoroid begins to collide with an ever-increasing number of air molecules. These collisions will both slow the meteoroid down and heat its surface layers. At the...

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This section contains 2,206 words
(approx. 8 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Meteoroids and Meteorites Encyclopedia Article
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