Related topics: earth · asteroid · solar system · nasa · mars

Could the blueprint for life have been generated in asteroids?

Using new analyses, scientists have just found the last two of the five informational units of DNA and RNA that had yet to be discovered in samples from meteorites. While it is unlikely that DNA could be formed in a meteorite, ...

All-sky cameras capture bright fireball event

A bright fireball was observed by a network of all-sky cameras across southern Ontario at 11:37pm on Sunday, April 17, 2022. Analysis of the video data suggests that fragments of the meteor are likely to have made it to the ...

Dog kennel hit by meteorite sells at auction

A Christie's auction of rare meteorites Wednesday sold a rock from space that narrowly missed a German Shepherd when it smashed into his kennel in Costa Rica.

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Meteorite

A meteorite is a natural object originating in outer space that survives an impact with the Earth's surface. While in space it is called a meteoroid. When it enters the atmosphere, impact pressure causes the body to heat up and emit light, thus forming a fireball, also known as a meteor or shooting star. The term bolide refers to either an extraterrestrial body that collides with the Earth, or to an exceptionally bright, fireball-like meteor regardless of whether it ultimately impacts the surface.

More generally, a meteorite on the surface of any celestial body is a natural object that has come from elsewhere in space. Meteorites have been found on the Moon and Mars.

Meteorites that are recovered after being observed as they transited the atmosphere or impacted the Earth are called falls. All other meteorites are known as finds. As of mid-2006, there are approximately 1,050 witnessed falls having specimens in the world's collections. In contrast, there are over 31,000 well-documented meteorite finds.

Meteorites have traditionally been divided into three broad categories: stony meteorites are rocks, mainly composed of silicate minerals; iron meteorites are largely composed of metallic iron-nickel; and, stony-iron meteorites contain large amounts of both metallic and rocky material. Modern classification schemes divide meteorites into groups according to their structure, chemical and isotopic composition and mineralogy. See meteorites classification.

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