General Astronomy/Meteors and Meteorites

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There are different terms for the same object, depending on where it is observed. In space, it is a meteoroid. A meteor is a meteroid that has been captured by some object's gravitational field (e.g., the Earth), and is falling toward it. Meteorites are meteors that have landed.

There are three kinds of meteors: irons, stones, and stony-irons. They usually come from asteroids or the Oort Cloud.

  • Irons are composed of mainly iron.
  • Stones are rocky, and are composed of silicate minerals.
  • Stony-irons are composed of silicate and nickel-iron minerals.