Seven interesting facts about meteors

By Shruti Saxena | Last Updated: Friday, October 4, 2013 - 00:24

A meteor shower is truly a celestial delight to watch. A meteor basically refers to a bright trail of light that appears in the dark sky when a tiny chunk of space debris heats up and burns due to friction caused by the earth’s atmosphere.

Difference between Meteor and Meteorite

Now, one might get confused between the terms - Meteor and Meteorite. To simplify, a ‘meteor’ refers to the flash of light caused when the space debris heats up and burns due to friction, whereas, ‘meteorite’ refers to the debris.

Here are 10 exciting facts about meteors you might not know:

- Meteor showers happen when the earth passes through a trail of debris left by a comet.

- Meteorites can be as small as the size of a tiny grain or as large as boulders.

- A meteorite which is less than 2mm in diameter is named as a micrometeorite.

- If the size of a meteoroid is larger than 10 metres in diameter, then it is called an asteroid.

- Meteorites are mostly either made of iron, stony or stony-iron.

- Meteors and meteorites cannot support life.

-Every year, around 500 meteorites are thought to reach the surface of the Earth.

Compiled by: Shruti Saxena

First Published: Thursday, October 3, 2013 - 14:24
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