The Solar System

What is the difference between a meteor and a meteorite?
Answered by Science Channel
  • Science Channel

    Science Channel

  1. Meteors and meteorites come from meteoroids, chunks of stony and/or metallic space matter. A meteor is also sometimes called a shooting star -- it's the flash of light that you see streak across the night sky, which happens when a small meteoroid enters Earth's atmosphere and burns up. A meteorite is a large meteoroid that did not completely combust during its entry into Earth's atmosphere and therefore actually reaches Earth. Meteoroids have various sources, including other planets and our moon. Some meteorites have left their marks in the form of craters on the Earth's surface, which we can still see.

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