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Meteors and Meteorites - Visual Meteors, Sporadic Meteors, Meteor Showers, Meteorites, Classification, Risk Assessment

atmosphere meteoroid vaporized earth

The word meteor is derived from the Greek meteron, meaning something high up. Today, however, the term is used to describe the light phenomena produced by the entry of objects into Earth's atmosphere. A meteoroid is defined to be any solid object moving in interplanetary space smaller than a few meters in diameter. A visual meteor, or shooting star, is produced whenever a sandgrain-sized meteoroid is vaporized in Earth's upper atmosphere. If a meteoroid survives its passage through the atmosphere, without being fully vaporized and falls to the ground, it is a called a meteorite.

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