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

Meteorite-loving microorganism

Chemolithotrophic microorganisms derive their energy from inorganic sources. Research into the physiological processes of these organisms—which are grown on meteorite—provides new insights into the potential of extraterrestrial ...

Ice fossils found in meteorite

A team of researchers from Japan, China and the U.K. has found evidence of ice fossils on the surface of a meteorite. In their paper published in the journal Science Advances, the group describes their close-up study of the ...

Recipe for planets

It's not every day that clues about the origin of our solar system fall from the sky, but one Victoria University of Wellington researcher has found just that—in a meteorite that collided with Earth 50 years ago.

Meteorite strikes made life on Earth possible

Meteorites from the far reaches of the solar system delivered large amounts of water, carbon and volatile substances to the Earth. Only then could the Earth host life. Dr. María Isabel Varas-Reus, Dr. Stephan König, Aierken ...

Researchers seeking fragments of fireball in Ontario

Researchers are seeking the public's help in locating fragments of a fireball that shone as bright as the full moon observed by Western's All-Sky Camera Network across at 2:44 a.m. ET this morning.

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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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