Q:

What are meteors made of?

A:

Meteors are mostly made up of rock and iron, and they come from either asteroids or comets. When fragments of an asteroid or a comet break off, they are called meteoroids while they travel through space. When a meteoroid enters the Earth's atmosphere, it becomes a meteor.

If a meteor is large enough to withstand the intense heat of entry into the atmosphere, and it lands on the Earth's surface, it is called a meteorite. Most meteor showers occur as the Earth passes through the debris left over by a passing comet. The Hoba meteorite in southwest Africa is one of the biggest meteorites; it weighs about 119,000 pounds.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What are some facts about meteors?

    A:

    Meteor is the name given to an object as it falls through the Earth's atmosphere. The same object is called a meteoroid when it's outside the atmosphere and a meteorite when it's found intact on the Earth.

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  • Q:

    Where do meteors come from?

    A:

    According to the Center for Meteorite Studies at the Arizona State University, meteorites are believed to come from the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Hubblesite defines a meteorite as a meteor or a piece of meteor that makes it through the atmosphere and lands on earth.

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  • Q:

    What are asteroids made of?

    A:

    Asteroid composition varies based on the asteroid's origin. An asteroid can contain rock, metal, clay, silicate, nickel, iron and water. All asteroids are covered in regolith, which is a rocky rubble. Regolith is commonly called space dust.

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  • Q:

    How fast do asteroids move?

    A:

    According to Yury Zaitsev, at Space Daily, an asteroid has a speed of about 55,923 miles per hour on average. Potential asteroid impacts on Earth have become a concern in recent years, with scientists suggesting the monitoring of all space objects in close proximity to the Earth.

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