What is the Difference Between an Asteroid, a Meteor and a Meteorite?


The three are often mistaken – especially when two of them flew near the Earth in the same day, as happened about 10 days ago.Here you can find a short explanation.

Asteroids are rocky objects in space smaller than planets. They’re sometimes called minor planets or planetoids, according to NASA

It is believed to be the remains of the protoplanetary disk from which the planets in the Solar System are formed. Millions of asteroids circling in orbit around the Sun, about 750,000 of which in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Some have even their own satellites.

The meteor is an asteroid or other object that burns when it enters the Earth’s atmosphere. They  also call them “shooting stars.” If a meteor does not burn completely in the atmosphere, the part of it that remains to the surface is called a meteorite. The meteorites composed iron or stone. Irons contain more than 90 metals.

And meteoroids? That’s a general term describing small particles of comets or asteroids that are in orbit around the Sun. It becomes a meteor if it enters the Earth’s atmosphere.

When the meteor is more visible in daylight (and according to some definitions, it makes noise) – the fireball resulting from the explosion is called a bolide.

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