Meteors are a tiny body of matter, coming from outer space and reaching the Earth. It appears as a line of light in the sky, as a result of friction. Sometimes an enjoyable experience can be observing meteor showers or finding a meteorite.

Facts About MeteorA meteorite is a natural phenomenon that falls and retains impact with the earth, originating in outer space.

Interesting Facts About Meteors

On Earth there are meteorites, but they can also be found in other planets and celestial bodies like Mars and the moon. Many meteorites originate from meteoroids, but others may also come from asteroid impacts.

For others, it’s an opportunity once in a lifetime. But how much do you know from far beyond, about these fragments? Here are some interesting facts about meteor to look at. 

1. Types

Stony, iron and stony-iron are the three types of meteorites. Stony meteorites consist of those with small amounts of iron, magnesium, and other elements rich in silicon and oxygen. Iron meteorites come from a larger parent body’s metallic core, such as an asteroid that has melted and split into pieces.

Stony-iron meteorites consist of nearly equal parts of iron-nickel metal and minerals of silicate including precious and semi-precious gems. They ‘re known to be some of the finest meteorites. Two forms of stony-iron meteorites are pallasite and mesosiderite.

2. Cause

Meteors are caused by the friction and pressure of air particles when they enter the Earth’s atmosphere. Meteor showers happen when the planet is in orbit around the sun and leftover from the disintegration of other comets passes through the debris. Most of these orbits of comets are a little more elongated than the sun’s orbit.

3. Meteor Burst Communication

The National Weather Service will be bouncing radio signals off ionized meteor trails. This is also known as Meteor Burst Communication or Meteor Scatter Communication. This is used for gathering data from automated weather stations as well as occasional data from US government agencies.

Most meteors scatter communications are executed between radio stations that are engaged in a specific transmission and reception time schedule. Many other US countries and locations use similar data collection approaches in remote areas.

4. Solid particles

Often meteor is a solid piece of debris from celestial bodies like comets, asteroids, or even meteoroid. They are known as meteorites if they remain intact from their passage from outer space through the atmosphere to a planet or moon’s surface.

5. Sugar

In December 2001 a team of NASA scientists found sugar in two different meteorites. This is important as it points to evidence that a fundamental building block of life on Earth, sugar, may originally have come from another planet. Scientists previously discovered other essential compounds to life on Earth in meteorites that included amino acids and carboxylic acids.

6. Origin

It’s said that many meteorites come from asteroids. Often it can be hard to differentiate a meteorite from a normal rock on Earth simply by its looks. Though it is easier to distinguish variations between the two in some areas of the world. Desert rocks and dark meteoroids stand out very distinctly from each other. Similar meteorites can also be easier to spot in locations with cold weather and in frozen plains. 

7. Location

In our solar system, most known asteroids are found between Jupiter and Mars. Research has confirmed that between the two planets exists and orbits the main meteor belt.  It is found that this main asteroid belt is more than two and a half times as far as the Earth is from the sun. The estimated count of identified asteroids on that orbit is 840,170.

8. Size

Meteorites vary in size but most of the meteorites, according to NASA, are “relatively small.” The largest meteorite recorded on the surface of Earth was 60 metric tons and crashed on a farm near Grootfontein, Namibia.

9. The Hoba Meteor

Measuring in at a whopping 60 tons, this is the planet’s largest known meteorite. In Namibia, Africa, it can be found right where it originally affected and is mostly iron with nickel and other trace elements. It struck down more than 80,000 years ago and wasn’t found until 1920, but is now a National Monument with thousands of visitors annually.

10. The Willamette Meteorite

This is the largest meteorite ever to be found at 15.5 tons in the United States and is ten feet tall. It is a hardened iron meteorite that is believed to be the remains of a planet’s iron core that was destroyed in a collision billions of years ago. It landed about 1,000 years ago and was discovered in 1902 by Westerners – while the Native American Clackamas tribe regarded it as a healing source they called Tomanowos.

11. The Sylacauga Meteorite

Sometime in the fall of 1954, when an 8.5 lb meteorite burst through a window of a 34-year-old woman named Ann Hodges who was napping at her sofa, it hit her on the hip.  She was wounded, but otherwise unharmed by the meteorite described by her neighbours as a “shooting fireball across the sky.”

12. The Allende Meteorite 

This meteorite fell over Mexico to Earth in 1969 and was initially around the size of a car until it split into hundreds of pieces that weighed a total of several tons. This is one of the most researched meteorites of all time and a clear example of carbonaceous chondrite.

Dating back to 4.6 billion years ago when the Sun and Planets first formed, they are among the most basic solar system materials known to man and are made up of silicates, oxides, sulfides, water, organic compounds and various minerals. 

13. Variably Small Sizes

Meteoroids often vary in size but are usually too small to notice when they fall.  Such meteorites often fall more often into water bodies and are typically never recovered or examined.

Research suggests that every day up to three hundred tons of space dust, including micrometeorites, have been falling to the Earth. Although hundreds fall daily from outer space, it is 95% safe.  This is because most meteors burn up entirely in the atmosphere before they reach the surface. 

14. Martian Life

Meteorites Provide Evidence for Martian Life. The scientist from NASA found evidence of life on Mars from a meteorite thought to be from Mars, which was determined to have hydrocarbons that are by-products of dead organisms on Earth, mineral phases that are determined to be by-products of bacterial activity, and microfossils called “carbonate globules” that could have been from primitive bacteria. 

15. Extinction of Dinosaur

Many scientists theorize that dinosaurs became extinct as a result of a massive meteor crash. This theory is supported by the Chicxulub crater, which is what scientists rely on for evidence. The effect states it was 11-81 km in diameter and triggered an atomic explosion worth up to 21-921 billion Hiroshima bombs.

16. Taillight

The length of the light trail depends upon the elements and dimensions of the meteoroids. During their atmospheric flight, the bright trail of light is created by the meteoroid. As the meteoroid drops, it starts burning and intensifying as it falls. The process is called compression adiabatic. The noticeable tail can length up to more than 150 million km.

The tail light of a meteoroid can last as quick as a few seconds, and as long as 30 minutes. But debris streams left behind in space will last for days or even weeks at times.