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What are meteorites?

Alik Mullahmetov
Alik Mullahmetov
March 20, 2013
What are meteorites?

One of the most famous meteorites in recent years has become a meteorite in Chelyabinsk. Many people, with bated breath, watched his movement on video. The fact of the fall of this meteorite further increased the interest in these space bodies. Therefore, after the recent accidents, many people will be interested to know what meteorites are. It is generally accepted on Earth as a meteorite object of natural cosmic origin, which fell on the surface of the Earth under the action of natural gravity and did not burn in the atmosphere due to its large size. When a meteorite enters the atmosphere, its temperature increases sharply, which is why it starts to glow, turning into a fiery ball and therefore becoming visible in the night sky. While the object glows in the sky, it is called a meteor. When he lands, he becomes a meteorite. What distinguishes a meteor from a meteorite is only the fact of falling to the ground.

Meteor Rain

Sometimes you can see such a beautiful phenomenon in the sky - a meteor shower, when the whole sky is lit up by a swarm of cosmic fireflies flying across our atmosphere.It occurs when a large volume of meteoric particles, called a meteor shower, flies through interplanetary space. Such rains may occur more than one night in a row in one particular part of the sky. These meteor particles are formed by the remnants of comets, the largest of them are the remains of asteroids.

Meteorite science

Meteorites, according to scientists, are divided into three types, which are determined by the basic chemical composition of meteorites. So, distinguish iron-stone, stone and iron meteorites. What constitutes a meteorite, does not carry any other chemical elements, in addition to those that are on earth.

For the most part, the following eight chemical elements were found in meteorites: oxygen, calcium, silicon, magnesium, aluminum, nickel, sulfur, and iron. There are other elements, but their volume is so small that they do not pay attention. In meteorites, these eight elements are in contact with each other, often forming minerals, most of which are found everywhere in the rocks of the Earth. There were cases when scientists found minerals that had never been found on our planet in fallen meteorites.

Iron meteorites consist almost entirely of iron with nickel in combination with the presence of a small amount of cobalt. The stone meteorite is composed of minerals called silicates. This name refers to compounds of oxygen and silicon, and they also often contain impurities of calcium, magnesium, nickel, and the like.

Nickel-iron is scattered over the entire volume of stone meteorites. If the iron inclusions are about half the volume of a meteorite, it will already be iron-stone. Such meteorites are a sponge soaked in olivine, a greenish-yellow mineral.


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