Related topics: nasa · night sky

Modeling early meteorite impacts on the moon

As our solar system was forming nearly four and a half billion years ago, a planet-sized object struck the early Earth, leading to the formation of the moon, possibly from a hot, spinning cloud of rock vapor called a synestia. ...

SLAC researchers recreate the extreme universe in the lab

Conditions in the vast universe can be quite extreme: Violent collisions scar the surfaces of planets. Nuclear reactions in bright stars generate tremendous amounts of energy. Gigantic explosions catapult matter far out into ...

First study results of Russian Chelyabinsk meteor published

The meteor that exploded over Chelyabinsk, Russia in February 2013 was "a wake-up call," according to a University of California, Davis scientist who participated in analyzing the event. The work is published November 7, ...

Possible trigger for volcanic 'super-eruptions' found

The "super-eruption" of a major volcanic system occurs about every 100,000 years and is considered one of the most catastrophic natural events on Earth, yet scientists have long been unsure about what triggers these violent ...

Some UFOs may be explained as ball lighting

( -- An Australian scientist studying photographs of fireballs, UFO sightings and a report of a strange green light in the sky suggests some UFOs may be ball lightning caused by fireball meteors.

Impact hypothesis loses its sparkle

Shock-synthesized diamonds said to prove a catastrophic impact killed off North American megafauna can't be found.

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A meteoroid is a sand- to boulder-sized particle of debris in the Solar System. The visible path of a meteoroid that enters Earth's (or another body's) atmosphere is called a meteor, or colloquially a shooting star or falling star. If a meteoroid reaches the ground and survives impact, then it is called a meteorite. Many meteors appearing seconds or minutes apart are called a meteor shower. The root word meteor comes from the Greek meteo¯ros, meaning "high in the air". The Minor Planet Center does not use the term "meteoroid".

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