Meteor, Meteorite, Meteoroid?

as the title points out I will write today about meteors, meteorites, meteoroids and asteroids. I have to say that before I searched it was not sure which one is which.

Lets start with asteroid.


These things are the largest. You probably know few of them because the biggest are also called minor planets or dwarf planets. There are quite lot of them, the biggest one inside of the orbit of Neptune is Ceres, that is the dwarf planet with these cool bright spots. There are quite few types based on what are they composed of. There are carbonate, silicate and metallic asteroids for example.

Lot of them are also in the Kuiper belt.


This one is a bit tricky. It is smaller asteroid, sometimes just a dust. The important thing is that as well as asteroid it has to be flying in outer space to be itself. Of course there are millions and millions of these objects. Usually they are considered to be smaller than one meter. When such object enters the atmosphere it can be fast as 20 km/s!


Meteor is more often known as “shooting/falling star”. It is just the event when meteoroid enters the atmosphere and heats quickly since as I said it is pretty fast. In some time of the year Earth goes through dust that was left by comets. Those are called meteor showers. When meteor shines bright enough, more than any planet in the night sky, it is considered fireball, which was for example Chelyabinsk meteor.


Meteorite is object that survives the path through atmosphere and impacts Earth (or other object, Mars or Moon for example). Of course quite often these things shatter a lot. People are than trying to find the debris. Also some are quite dangerous and can easily kill person even if they are very small. The largest one piece has stunning 60 tonnes.


Impact on roof 

Chelyabinsk meteor is whole new level of destruction

I decided to make a short post of ten facts which I found over time, this is the first in series, enjoy:

1) Even that the surface of Mercury has 400 degrees Celsius, there is water ice at the poles inside craters where temperature may be low as -170°C.

2) Jupiter is the oldest of planets in our Solar System.

3) Most distant cluster of galaxies was found to be 3.8 billions of years old and at the distance of about 16 billion lightyears. It is 1000 times as massive as Milkyway.

4) Satellite SOHO found more than 3000 comets.

5) The longest time spent in space is 437 days by Valeri Polyakov.

6) Tardigrades are organisms that are able to withstand even vacuum of space and reproduce after high doses of radiation.

7) As of March 24, 2015 the longest distance traveled on other world was by Opportunity on Mars, 42.2 kilometers.

8) Today Scott Kelly and Mikhail Kornienko return to Earth after one year in space.

9) Person passes out when unprotected in vacuum after about 15 seconds.

10) Chelyabinsk meteor damaged more than 7,200 building and hurt 1,491, mainly because of shattered glass.