Meteorites Essay

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Meteorites are naturally occurring objects that originate in space and survive a fall to the ground through Earth’s atmosphere. (What are meteorites?) Most are remnants of asteroids or possibly comets. However, a few have been shown to be pieces of Moon or Mars that were launched into space by an impact event. While moving through space these objects are known as meteoroids. The bright streaks that they produce while moving through Earth’s atmosphere are known as meteors. The term meteorite is also used for a meteoroid that has landed on the surface of a celestial body other than Earth. There are three main types of meteorites. The most abundant are stone meteorites which are primarily made up of silicate minerals such as olivine, pyroxene, and feldspar. As their name implies, iron meteorites are mainly composed of iron but also contain a significant amount of nickel. The rarest of the three are the stony-iron meteorites. They are a mixture of stony and metallic materials. Some basic facts of meteorites are: Meteorites are attracted to magnets. Meteorites contain a great deal of extraterrestrial iron, even the ones that look like terrestrial rocks (stony meteorites). Just like a common nail or ball bearing, they will easily stick to a magnet, but they are not magnetic. Test your find with a good hardware store magnet. Meteorites are heavy. Most meteorites are much denser than ordinary Earth rocks. The unusual weight is due to high iron content. Even stone meteorites will feel heavier in the hand than most Earth rocks. Meteorites likely traveled in space for millions of years before visiting us here on Earth. They were bathed in cosmic rays, but are not dangerous or radioactive. If your rock looks just like other Earth rocks, it probably is one. Meteorites look and feel different from the ordinary rocks around them. Recently fallen

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