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Meteors and Meteorites

Classification

Meteorites are classified according to the amount of silicate and metallic nickel-iron that they contain. Three main meteorite types are recognized; these are the irons, the stones, and the stony-irons. The iron meteorites consist almost entirely of nickel-iron, while the stone meteorites are mostly silicates. The stony-iron meteorites contain both nickel-iron and silicates. The stony meteorites are further divided into chondrites and achondrites. The term chondrite (pronounced "kon-drite") is applied if the meteorite is composed of many small, rounded fragments (called chondrules) bound together in a silicate matrix. If no chondrules are present then the meteorite is an achondrite. Most (about 85%) of the stony meteorites are chondrites. Meteorite fall statistics indicates that about 96% of meteorites are stony, 3% are irons and 1% are stony-irons.


Additional topics

Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Mathematics to Methanal trimerMeteors and Meteorites - Visual Meteors, Sporadic Meteors, Meteor Showers, Meteorites, Classification, Risk Assessment