Meteroids and Meteorites
- General Information
- Meteors are objects which fall into Earth's atmosphere.
- Meteoroid: Any object in interplanetary space which is too small
to be called an asteroid or a comet.
- Meteorite: A meteroid which reaches the surface of the Earth without
being completely vaporized.
- One of the primary goals of studying meteorites is to determine the
history and origin of their parent bodies.
- Types of Meteorites
- Stony Meteorites
- Chondrites (85.7%)
- These are the most common types of meteorites.
- They are about as old as our solar system, which makes them pristine samples
of early solar system matter.
- Achondrites (7.1%): Formed by melting and recrystallization on or within
meteorite parent bodies. They give us good information about igneous processes
occuring on these bodies.
- Stony Iron Meteorites (1.5%)
- Pallasites: Composed of olivine enclosed in metal.
- Iron Meteorites (5.7%): Consist mostly of iron-nickel alloys with minor
amounts of carbon, sulfur, and phosphorous.
Asteroids Home Page