It is believed that most meteor streams are formed by the decomposition of a comet's nucleus and consequent dispersion of the fragments in that comet's original orbit.
MURPHY MURPHYEARTH SCIENCE MUSEUM
Meteorites are fragments of solid matter that come from space and reach the Earth's surface.
CRATEUS CRATEUSEARTH SCIENCE MUSEUM
The Museum of Earth Sciences has a display of 60 meteorites, including specimens comprising Brazilian and foreign findings.
SANTA LUZIA SANTA LUZIAEARTH SCIENCE MUSEUM
Meteorites can be seen, those that were seen at the time of the fall, or found, those that were not seen to fall (and which constitute the vast majority). The sighted correspond to only 2.4% of the total.
GIBBEON GIBBEONEARTH SCIENCE MUSEUM
The fragments that enter the Earth's atmosphere, but do not reach the surface, as they are destroyed by friction with the air, are called meteors or, popularly, shooting stars. These are much more numerous than meteorites.
BLUFF BLUFFEARTH SCIENCE MUSEUM
The science that studies these celestial bodies is called Meteoritics.
HOBA HOBAEARTH SCIENCE MUSEUM
The word meteor comes from the Greek meteoron and means phenomenon in the sky.
NELSON COUNTRY NELSON COUNTRYEARTH SCIENCE MUSEUM
In this context, meteor is the luminous band seen in the sky when matter from the solar system enters Earth's atmosphere, creating temporary incandescence, a result of friction with the atmosphere.
RODEO RODEOEARTH SCIENCE MUSEUM
The term is also used to designate the particle itself, regardless of the phenomenon it produces when it enters the atmosphere.
GRAND RAPIDS GRAND RAPIDSEARTH SCIENCE MUSEUM
The meteorite arrives at the Earth's surface at speeds between 12 km/s and 70 km/s and is followed by deafening crashes and hisses, because they break the sound barrier.
The larger planets, with their intense gravitational fields, can affect this orbit and Jupiter, for example, can cause the fragments to plunge into the interior of the solar system and thus cross the Earth's orbit, as happens today with the asteroids Vesta and Apollo.
ALLEGAN ALLEGANEARTH SCIENCE MUSEUM
They become visible at approximately 120 km high, where they become incandescent, disappearing at 70 km when, when they are completely incinerated by friction with the atmosphere. In poorly lit cities, you can easily see meteors almost every night.
BLUFF BLUFFEARTH SCIENCE MUSEUM
Meteors weigh about 10 grams and are usually the size of beans or smaller. Its speed varies between 42 km/s and 72 km/s.
Origin of meteorites
Analysis of meteorite trajectories suggests that the vast majority of them come from an asteroid belt that exists between Mars and Jupiter. The planets have a distance from the Sun that obeys a mathematical rule.
By this rule, there should be a planet after Mars but before Jupiter. What is there, however, is a ring of asteroids, that is, of rocky fragments.
(CONDRITO) FOREST (CONDRITO) FORESTEARTH SCIENCE MUSEUM
Astronomers believe that these asteroids have been circling the Sun since the beginning of our solar system, but they were unable to unite to form a planet due to Jupiter's strong gravity, although they are closer to Mars than to Jupiter.
CANYON DIABLO CANYON DIABLOEARTH SCIENCE MUSEUM
If that happened, the planet would be about 1/3 the size of the Moon.
MOCS MOCSEARTH SCIENCE MUSEUM
The asteroid belt has 150,000 km of rocky fragments of varying sizes, most of which are irregularly shaped. It has identified more than 11,000 asteroids, generally 20 km or less in diameter. The largest is Ceres, with 913 km and the closest to the Sun is Icarus.
GLORIETA GLORIETAEARTH SCIENCE MUSEUM
Despite this being the main source of meteorites, chemical analyzes show that some of them, of the chondrite type, collected in Antarctica since 1981, come from the Moon, as their composition coincides with that of lunar rocks brought by the Apollo missions in 1969-1972.
COAHUILA COAHUILAEARTH SCIENCE MUSEUM
Another set, of eight achondrites, contains atmospheric gases captured in molten minerals, whose composition resembles that of the atmosphere of Mars, measured by the Viking probes in 1976. Of the 56,678 known meteorites, 0.54% came from the Moon and 0.35%, from Mars.
BEANCONSFIELD BEANCONSFIELDEARTH SCIENCE MUSEUM