meteor vs meteorite vs meteoroid

meteor meteorite meteoroid


  • 1) martial arts A striking weapon resembling a track and field hammer consisting of a weight swung at the end of a cable or chain.
  • 2) juggling A prop similar to poi balls, in that it is twirled at the end of a cord or cable.
  • 3) A fast-moving streak of light in the night sky caused by the entry of extraterrestrial matter into the earth's atmosphere: A shooting star or falling star.
  • 4) A bright streak of light that appears in the sky when a meteoroid is heated to incandescence by friction with the earth's atmosphere.
  • 5) A meteoroid or meteorite.
  • 6) Specif.: A transient luminous body or appearance seen in the atmosphere, or in a more elevated region.
  • 7) A mass of stone or other substance which sometimes falls to the earth from space beyond the moon, burning up from atomospheric friction and creating a brilliant but usually very brief trail of light in the atmosphere; also called a shooting star.
  • 8) Any phenomenon or appearance in the atmosphere, as clouds, rain, hail, snow, etc.
  • 9) (astronomy) any of the small solid extraterrestrial bodies that hits the earth's atmosphere
  • 10) a streak of light in the sky at night that results when a meteoroid hits the earth's atmosphere and air friction causes the meteoroid to melt or vaporize or explode
  • 11) Any atmospheric phenomenon.
  • 12) A small body moving in space, and of the same nature as those which become visible by encountering our atmosphere.
  • 13) Specifically A transient fiery or luminous body seen in or through the atmosphere, usually in its more elevated region: a shooting-star. If it reaches the surface of the earth, it is called a meteorite, formerly aërolite, and also (very rarely) uranolite.
  • 14) An abbreviation of meteorology, meteorological.


  • 1) A metallic or stony object or body that is the remains of a meteor
  • 2) A stony or metallic mass of matter that has fallen to the earth's surface from outer space.
  • 3) (Min.) A mass of stone or iron which has fallen to the earth from space; an aërolite.
  • 4) stony or metallic object that is the remains of a meteoroid that has reached the earth's surface
  • 5) The great interest in meteorites in recent years has led not only to a minuter study of known meteorites, but also to a keener search for new specimens and a closer watch for falls. The result of this activity is shown in the very considerable increase in the number of known meteorites from well-authenticated independent sources. The collections of Vienna and London contain each between 550 and 600 specimens and the Ward-Coonley collection (now in Now York) has over 600. Of recent discoveries of meteoric iron, the Willamette specimen, found in Clackamas county, Oregon, in 1902, is remarkable for its great size (being one of the four largest masses known to exist: see below), and also for various structural features. Its dimensions are 10¼ × 7 × 4 feet, and its estimated weight about 15½ tons. The form (see cut) is roughly conical, and the cone-shaped portion, lying beneath when found, was obviously the front side (brustseite) in the forward motion of the mass. A remarkable feature of this iron is the large, basin-like cavities on the upper exposed surface, probably the result of terrestrial decomposition during the long period that has elapsed since its fall. Near Cañon Diablo, Arizona, in a very limited area, more than 600 masses of meteoric iron have been found since 1891. They vary from about 1,200 pounds to half an ounce and less in weight and their occurrence is immediately associated with a remarkable crater (¾ of a mile wide, 500 feet deep), which is believed to owe its origin to the impact of the meteoric mass. This iron is noteworthy because it has been shown by various investigators, especially by Moissan of Paris, to contain minute transparent octahedrons of diamond. It has also yielded green hexagonal crystals of carbon silicide (moissanite), identical with the artificial compound used in the arts as an abrasive under the name of carborundum. The mass of meteoric iron, the ‘Ahnighito meteorite,’ brought to New York by Lieutenant Peary from, Cape York, Greenland, in 1897 (known since 1818), is unquestionably the largest meteorite preserved in any museum and perhaps the largest mass known to exist. It measures 11 × 7½ × 5½ feet and weighs 36½ tons; its form is shown in the cut. A somewhat higher weight (estimated as 46 tons) is given for the iron of Bacubirito, Sinaloa, Mexico (known since 1871), while that of Chupadero, Chihuahua, Mexico (1852), weighs about 16 tons. The meteoric origin of the Ahnighito iron is well established, although the iron of Disko Island and those of some other localities on the west coast of Greenland are certainly terrestrial. The great mass of Santa Catharina, Brazil, remarkable for its high percentage of nickel (34 per cent.), is now generally regarded as terrestrial; this type is called catarinite by Meunier. Some doubt also has been cast upon the meteoric origin of the iron from Oktibbeha county, Mississippi, which contains 60 per cent. of nickel (oktibbehite type, Meunier). The meteorites which have been seen to fall between 1890 and 1906 number about 30. These include three irons, those of Quesa, Spain (1898), of Bugaldi, New South Wales (1900), and of Ngoureyma, in Northwest Africa (1900); the latter-named mass weighed 37½ kilograms, and its remarkable appearance is shown in the adjoining cut. The minute microscopic and chemical examination of meteoric irons has led to more definite knowledge of the composition of the various iron-nickel alloys, kamacite, tænite, and plessite forming the triad (or trias) of Reichenbach (see Widmannstättian figures, under Widmannstättian); of these, kamacite contains from 4.8 to 7.4 per cent. of nickel, tænite from 16.7 to 38.1 per cent., and plessite is regarded as a eutectic mixture of the two species. Reichenbach's lamprite (glanzeisen) has been shown, however, to be not nickel-iron, but in part iron carbide (including cohenite (Fe, Ni)3C), and in part schreibersite. The edmondsonite of Flight (meteorin of Abel) is only tænite. The wickelkamacite of Brezina (hülleisen of Reichenbach) is kamacite, not in regular form as usual, but of irregular outline inclosing accessory constituents, sulphids, graphite, silicates, etc. The iron sulphid of meteoric irons is now conceded to be troilite (FeS), not pyrrhotine (Fe7S8). The list of chemical elements identified in meteorites has been increased by the following, several of them detected in traces only and a few perhaps needing confirmation: gold, silver, platinum, iridium, palladium, lead, gallium, selenium; the stone of Saline township, Kansas, contains free phosphorus. The identification of leucite, a mineral of rather rare occurrence in terrestrial igneous rocks, as an essential constituent of the meteoric stone of Schafstädt is an interesting point; it is probably also present in the Pavlovka stone (1882). The classification of meteorites now generally adopted is essentially that of Gustav Rose (Berlin, 1863) as extended and elaborated by later writers, particularly A. Brezina of Vienna. The fundamental division is that between the meteoric irons, or siderites, consisting essentially of metallic iron (probably in all cases nickel-iron), and the meteoric stones, or aërolites, in which silicates predominate, the metallic nickel-iron sometimes (though rarely) entirely absent. As a transition-group between the irons and stones belong those meteorites in which the iron forms a continuous, sponge-like mass inclosing silicates (chiefly olivin and bronzite); these are often embraced under the general name of siderolites, and sometimes (as below, Brezina) divided into siderolites and lithosiderites, according as the iron, on a cross-section, appears as separate grains or forms a continuous web. The system of Brezina (catalogue of the Ward-Coonley collection, 1904) recognizes further the following prominent divisions: I. Stones: achondrites, chondri generally absent, metallic iron absent or only sparingly present; chondrites, chondri prominent, bronzite, olivin, and iron essential; chondrites, with enstatite, anorthite, and iron essential; siderolites, iron inclosing silicates, iron in separate grains in section. II. Irons: tithosiderites, iron and silicates, the iron continuous in section; octahedrites, irons with octahedral structure as shown in Widmannstättian figures; hexahedrites, irons with cubic structure and cleavage; ataxites, structure interrupted or indistinct. These divisions are further separated into groups or types briefly characterized as follows: Achondrites: chladnite (abbreviated Chl), consisting chiefly of bronzite (named, like the mineral chladnite (= enstatite), after the physicist Chladni (1756–1827), who wrote about meteors); chladnite with bronzite, black or metallic veined (Chla); angrite (A), chiefly augite (named after the meteorite of Angra dos Reys, Brazil; date of fall, 1869); chassignite (Cha), chiefly olivin (Chassigny, France, 1815); bustite (Bu), bronzite and augite (Busti, India, 1852); amphoterite (Am), bronzite and olivin (named by Tschermak); rodite (Ro), bronzite and olivin, brecciated or breccia-like (La Roda, Spain, 1871); eucrite (Eu), augite with anorthite (named by Rose in 1863; also used for a terrestrial rock: see eucrite); shergottite (She), augite with maskelynite (Sherghotty, India, 1865); (10) howardite (Ho), bronzite, olivin, augite, and anorthite (named by Rose after Edward Howard, who first determined the true nature of meteoric iron: Philos. Trans. Roy. Soc, 1802); (11) howardite, brecciated (Hob); (12) leucituranolite (L), leucite, anorthite, augite, and glass (named by C. Klein, 1904). Chondrites: howarditic chondrite (Cho); the same, veined (Choa); chondrite, white and friable (Cw); the same, veined (Cwa); the same, brecciated (Cwb); intermediate chondrite (Ci), firm, with white and gray chondri; the same, veined (Cia); the same, brecciated (Cib); gray chondrite (Cg), firm gray mass with chondri; (10) the same, veined (Cga); (11) the same, brecciated (Cgb); (12) orvinite (Co), black, infiltrated mass, discontinuous crust (Orvinio, Italy, 1872); (13) tadjerite (Ct), black, semiglassy, without crust (Tadjéra, Africa, 1867); (14) black chondrite (Cs), dark or black mass; chondri of various colors; (15) the same, veined(Csa); (16) ureilite (U), black mass, chondritic or granular, iron in veins, etc. (Novo Urei, Russia, 1886); (17) carbonaceous chondrite (K), dull-black friable chondri with free carbon and little or no iron; (18) the same, spherulitic (Kc); (19) the same, spherulitic, veined (Kca); (20) spherulitic chondrite (Cc), mass friable, chondri not breaking with matrix; (21) the same, veined (Cca); (22) the same, brecciated (Ccb); (23) ornansite (Cco), friable mass of chondri (Ornans, France, 1868); (24) ngawite (Ccn), friable, brecciated mass of chondri (Ngawi, Java, 1883); (25) spherulitic chondrite, crystalline (Cck); (26) the same, veined (Ccka): (27) the same, brecciated (Cckb); (28) crystalline chondrite (Ck); (29) the same, veined (Cka); (30) the same, brecciated (Ckb). Enstatite-anorthite chondrites: crystalline chondrite (Cck), enstatite, anorthite, and iron with round chondri. Siderolites: mesosiderite. (M), sponge-like mass of iron inclosing crystalline olivin and bronzite (name given by G. Rose, 1862: see mesosiderite); grahamite (Mg), the same, with also plagioclase (J. Lorimer Graham of New York city); lodhranite (Lo), granular crystalline olivin and bronzite in iron (Lodhran, India, 1868) Lithosiderites: siderophyre (S), bronzite grains with accessory asmanite in iron (named by Tschermak); – groups of pallasites, iron inclosing olivin (Pk), (Pr), (Pi), (Pa), differing chiefly in relation to the olivin (named from Pallas iron, Krasnoyarsk, Siberia, 1749). Octahedrites: groups –, fine octahedrites (Off), (Ofv), (Of), showing thin lamellæ of varying types, widths 0.3–0.4 millimeters; medium octahedrite (Om), lamellæ 0.5–0.10 millimeters; broad octahedrite (Og), lamellæ 1.5–2.0 millimeters; broadest octahedrite (Ogg); –(11) brecciated octahedrites, fine, medium, etc., different types (Obk), (Obn), (Obz), (Obzg), (Obc); (12) octahedrite, Hammond group (Oh), Hexahedrites: normal, not granular (H); granular (Ha); brecciated (Hb). Ataxites: groups (respectively designated as Dc, Dsh, Db, Dl, Dn, Ds, Dp, and Dm), differing chiefly either in amount of nickel or in structure; the Siratic group (Ds, and named from a place in Senegal) is poor in nickel, but contains rhabdite. Daubrée divided all meteorites into four grand divisions, according to the amount of iron present, namely: holosiderites, containing no silicates; syssiderites, an iron mass inclosing silicates; sporadosiderites, stones with disseminated grains of iron; asiderites, stones containing no metallic iron. He further divided the sporadosiderites into polysiderites, iron abundant; oligosiderites, iron less abundant; and cryptosiderites, iron not visible to the eye. This classification was further developed by Meunier, who distinguished fifty-three groups, named in most cases after some typical meteorite; these begin with the highly nickeliferous irons oktibbehite and catarinite (see above), also tazewellite, nelsonite, braunite, etc., and end with orgueilite and bokkewellite.
  • 6) A mineral or metallic mass of extraterrestrial origin, or which, to use the common expression, has “fallen from the heavens.”


  • 1) astronomy A relatively small (sand- to boulder-sized) fragment of debris in a solar system that produces a meteor when it hits the atmosphere
  • 2) A solid body, moving in space, that is smaller than an asteroid and at least as large as a speck of dust.
  • 3) (Astron.) A small body moving through space, or revolving about the sun, which on entering the earth's atmosphere would be deflagrated and appear as a meteor.
  • 4) (astronomy) any of the small solid extraterrestrial bodies that hits the earth's atmosphere
  • 5) A body traveling in space, and of the same nature as those which on entering the earth's atmosphere become visible as meteors.


  • 1) Before we leave the solar system I should mention two meteor showers this month.
  • 2) They became a menace after most people were blinded in a meteor shower.
  • 3) How worried should we be about a meteor shower hitting us?
  • 4) The meteor did not strike and the forces of good and evil knocked off early.
  • 5) One found it in the grounds, possibly after a meteor strike.
  • 6) Provided it is reasonably clear and dark, you should see about one meteor per minute.
  • 7) Did a meteor light the road to Damascus?
  • 8) Did witnesses really interrupt a visit from little green men, or was it simply a meteor shower lighting up the sky?
  • 9) A meteor strike, and that was the end of them.
  • 10) It's not meteor strikes, or aliens that destroy our world.
  • 11) It's a bit like gazing up at a meteor shower, but also like gazing down into a molecule.
  • 12) The term meteor shower is somewhat misleading, because the streaks of light are generally caused by space debris no bigger than grains of sand, which hit and then burn up in the
  • 13) The term meteor for what is usually called a shooting star bears an unfortunate resemblance to the term meteorology, the science of weather and weather forecasting.
  • 14) In meteor, a giant meteor is hurtling toward the earth threatening to destroy it (been there, done that).
  • 15) Not only that, but an antimatter meteor from the Lucifer system struck Earth, wiped out the dinosaurs, allowed mammals to find their niche, and produced humans -- in other words, Lucifer brought about original sin.
  • 16) Every 33 years, the Leonids put on a truly spectacular display of more than a thousand meteors per hour in what is known as a meteor storm.
  • 17) Our joys were dearer because we saw their end; they were keener because we felt, to its fullest extent, their value; they were purer because their essence was sympathy -- as a meteor is brighter than a star, did the felicity of this winter contain in itself the extracted delights of a long, long life.
  • 18) Finally, sit back and enjoy the show as bits of leftover comet burn up in our atmosphere, creating the celestial displays that we call meteor showers.
  • 19) Whether Godzilla’s attacking, a meteor is about to hit Metropolis or every car in town has mysteriously turned bright pink, a journalist will have something to do.
  • 20) ‘Whitehead thinks that the meteor entered the Earth's atmosphere at a low angle.’
  • 21) ‘It may also raise the number of random meteors seen from Earth streaking across the sky.’
  • 22) ‘There are meteors and comets and supernovas and yes, black holes.’
  • 23) ‘Evening meteors much catch Earth by having an orbital velocity greater than the planet.’
  • 24) ‘The witness observed two objects that were moving so fast they appeared to be meteors or shooting stars, they moved so fast.’
  • 25) ‘The meteors can appear in any part of the sky, so make sure that you have as wide a view of it as possible.’
  • 26) ‘Each time a meteor crosses the atmosphere, it leaves behind a short trail of ionised particles.’
  • 27) ‘The chunks and pieces of the planet after the explosion could explain the asteroids, meteors and comets.’
  • 28) ‘Huge parts of the ceiling came hurtling at them like meteors from outer space.’
  • 29) ‘Eastern Cape residents could have stars in their eyes later this month when meteors from a passing comet provide an extra-terrestrial show.’
  • 30) ‘Each time a meteor crosses through the atmosphere, it leaves behind a short trail of ionised particles.’
  • 31) ‘In the mean time, let's keep hoping for an extinction-level meteor to hit the earth just so it takes him out too.’
  • 32) ‘The meteor's light cuts through the fog as it falls directly towards them.’
  • 33) ‘Light from a passing meteor is recorded on several security cameras.’
  • 34) ‘This convergence of government officials does not happen when a meteor falls to Earth.’
  • 35) ‘He thought he had seen a meteor but before the light disappeared it changed direction.’
  • 36) ‘Observers often mistake these re-entering objects for meteors or UFOs.’
  • 37) ‘A shield would protect each community from meteors and space debris.’
  • 38) ‘This will produce a surge of mostly faint meteors over Europe and Asia.’
  • 39) ‘Experts predict that at most a meteor could flash across the sky every minute or two at peak times.’


  • 1) That is if we are not first wiped out by global warming or a meteorite strike.
  • 2) The chief constables were running around as if a giant meteorite was on its way.
  • 3) One answer invokes those meteorite impacts.
  • 4) A meteor that survives is termed a meteorite when it hits the ground.
  • 5) On the moon because we should be able to fi nd bits of early Earth blasted there by meteorite impacts.
  • 6) It has long been suggested that a meteorite impact led to the demise of the dinosaurs about 65 million years ago.
  • 7) It was Britain's largest recorded meteorite.
  • 8) In the same way that you should not take a dog for a walk in case it's hit on the head by a giant meteorite.
  • 9) ‘It has been identified in carbonaceous achondrite and iron meteorites.’
  • 10) ‘Grouped with iron meteorites, these are pieces from the cores of fledgling planets destroyed by collisions when the Solar System formed.’
  • 11) ‘They are very similar in composition to the carbonaceous chondrite meteorites that sometimes fall on Earth.’
  • 12) ‘Other Moon rocks brought back by the Apollo astronauts have helped in understanding the lunar meteorites found on Earth.’
  • 13) ‘Other sources of high iridium concentrations are extraterrestrial objects, such as meteorites or comets.’
  • 14) ‘meteorites contain platinum and meteorites have been landing on earth for billions of years already.’
  • 15) ‘Small impactors deliver meteorites, while large ones infrequently wreak global devastation.’
  • 16) ‘That is how fragments of the asteroid belt can end up crashing into Earth as meteorites.’
  • 17) ‘The Martian meteorite crashes through the Earth's atmosphere - a blazing fireball.’
  • 18) ‘On display are minerals, fossils, meteorites, and some rocks, most of which are of reference quality.’
  • 19) ‘It is brought to us by such solar system visitors as meteorites, which burn up or fragment and drift as fine particles through the atmosphere.’
  • 20) ‘One possible source of such untainted data are Earth's lunar meteorites.’
  • 21) ‘About 1.8 billion years ago, a meteorite or comet the size of Mount Everest slammed into what is now Canada.’
  • 22) ‘As the newly launched Sputnik satellite orbits earth, a strange meteorite approaches the planet.’
  • 23) ‘A good case has already been made for bacteria microfossils in a Martian meteorite.’
  • 24) ‘It is possible that something may have been at the end of this, a piece of rock, a meteorite.’
  • 25) ‘The most recent major extinction occurred 65 million years ago when a meteorite crashed into Earth, leading to the demise of the dinosaurs.’
  • 26) ‘The age of the carbonates can be clearly determined, and some very old ones had been found on certain asteroids and meteorites.’
  • 27) ‘When meteorites hit nearby worlds, they kick up bits of rock, some of which might have enough speed to escape from their planet entirely.’
  • 28) ‘A safe containing moon rocks and meteorites was stolen from the Johnson Space Center in Houston on July 15.’


  • 1) A meteoroid is matter revolving around the sun or any object in interplanetary space that is too small to be called an asteroid or a comet.
  • 2) Once this space material starts falling toward Earth, it's called a meteoroid, and when it penetrates the Earth's atmosphere, it becomes a meteor, which is the term used to describe the visible "shooting star" portion.
  • 3) meteoroid: A meteoroid is a solid piece of interplanetary debris moving through space.
  • 4) A meteor appears when a particle or chunk of metallic or stony matter called a meteoroid enters Earth's atmosphere from outer space.
  • 5) Of course, both men are wrong, since a meteoroid is a rock traveling through space, a meteor is a rock that burns up in our atmosphere, and a rock that actually hits Earth's surface is a meteor ite.
  • 6) A "shooting star" is the common name for the visible path of a meteoroid, which is a small particle of debris from the Solar system that enters the Earth's atmosphere.
  • 7) We may as well define the terms "meteoroid" and "asteroid" as well.
  • 8) In the opening scenes of the film, when everyone believes that the downed flying saucer was actually a large rock from space, learned astronomer Ted Lewis (McCormack) refers to it as a "meteoroid" while the ignorant policeman Vernon (Robert Patrick) dismisses it as a "meteor."
  • 9) ‘The term ‘space debris’ in its largest sense includes all naturally occurring remains of solar and planetary processes: interplanetary dust, meteoroids, asteroids, and comets.’
  • 10) ‘Once the meteoroids enter the Earth's atmosphere, they are known as meteors and become visible due to the friction caused by air molecules slamming against the surface of the high-velocity particle.’
  • 11) ‘It is probably natural to think of meteorites - as the meteoroids that fall to Earth are called - as threatening, even dangerous, phenomena.’
  • 12) ‘Whether a meteoroid makes it to Earth's surface or not depends on many factors including the mass, initial velocity, angle of entry, composition, and shape of the body.’
  • 13) ‘However, from time to time, comets suddenly get brighter, and one possible explanation for this is that the comet has struck a small meteoroid in space; perhaps a small lump of rock, 10 cm or a metre in size.’

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