Monday, March 14, 2011

Facts About Meteorites - strangefacts

  • A meteorite is bits of the outer space that enter the earth surface surviving the impact. They are chunks and are no bigger than particles of dust and sand
  • When in the outer space they are known as meteoroids but once when they enter the earth surface they are called meteors
  • A meteor is a bright streak of light in the sky, popularly known as the shooting star or falling star, which is produced by the entry of a small meteoroid into the Earth's atmosphere
  • Meteoroids move very fast. Some enter the Earth's atmosphere at as much as 130,000 miles per hour
  • Meteorites contain the oldest known rocks in our solar system
  • They also contain 'pre-solar grains', which are minerals that formed around other stars probably billions of years before our solar system was born
  • Up to 4 billion meteoroids fall to Earth everyday
  • But most of them are too tiny to do any noticeable harm
  • In 2004, a 30-foot-wide meteoroid hit the atmosphere over Antarctica, leaving 2 million pounds of dust in its wake
  • That was enough to seed rain clouds and affect climate all the way on the other side of the planet
  • More than 24,000 meteorites are known to have landed on Earth, but only 34 are believed to have originated on Mars
  • Meteorites are named for the locale, region, or nearby town in which the "fall" occurred
  • Although the fusion crust may be warm or hot immediately after impact, the inside of the meteorite is still deep frozen from eons in cold space
  • For years, the standard price for meteoritic material was $1/lb. Now, many meteorites are worth as much as gold!
  • Meteorites have been used by unsuspecting finders as blacksmith anvils, dog bowls, or to prop up machinery or autos
  • Meteorites often contain minerals not found on Earth
  • Meteorite falls often knock out power and anything electrical in the area. This may be due to the EMP, or electromagnetic pulse, of the fast-moving meteor
  • Meteorites have been found on the Moon and Mars
  • They are called meteoroids when they are in space. When they enters the atmosphere, impact pressure causes the body to heat up and emit light, thus forming a fireball, also known as a meteor or shooting star
  • Meteorites that are recovered after being observed as they transited the atmosphere or impacted the Earth are called falls. The other meteorites are known as finds
  • As of mid-2006, there are approximately 1,050 witnessed falls having specimens in the world's collections
  • In contrast, there are over 31,000 well-documented meteorite finds Meteorites are broadly categorized into three types- stony, iron and stony-iron
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