Meteor

Meteorite

     Meteor are rocks from space that enter the Earth’s atmosphere and impact the surface. Most meteorites originate from asteroids. Although meteorites come from space, they are not all the same. There are three families of space rocks, iron, stone, and stone-iron rocks.

     Iron meteor are pieces of radioactively heated iron core asteroids from the Asteroid Belt. Asteroid collisions scatter iron-nickel fragments into space. While entering the atmosphere, the iron meteorites develop small oval depressions called regmaglypts not found on terrestrial rocks.

     Stone meteorites come from the crusts of asteroids. When asteroids collide, the stone fragments become meteors. Large pieces that do not disintegrate in the atmosphere impact Earth. Although stone meteorites are most common, they are still rarer than many naturally occurring minerals on Earth. They contain small grain-like spheres of varying sizes and colors named chondrules. Chondrules are not found in terrestrial rocks and may have formed in solar nebula disks.

     Stony-iron meteorites are a mixture of nickel-iron and stone and are extremely rare, making up less than 2% of meteorites. There are two kinds of stony-iron meteorites called pallasites and mesosiderites. Pallasites contain olivine, a translucent green crystal, floating in the nickel-iron medium. Mesosiderites are equal parts nickel-iron and stone with angular fragments and irregular inclusions of silicate.

Campo Del Cielo

     Campo Del Cielo is a crater field measuring about 2 miles by 12 miles north-northwest of Buenos Ares, Argentina. The meteorite impact was 4-5 thousand years ago. Its 26 craters were first explored in 1576. The largest Campo Del Cielo meteorite named Gancedo was found in 2016, weighing 30.8 tons. In all, 100 tons of iron meteorite have been recovered from the craters.

Tektite

      Tektite is a natural glass formed by the rapid melting and cooling of terrestrial rocks obliterated by meteorite impacts. It is glassy, lacks any microlite of phenocrysts, and contains no water, unlike terrestrial natural glass. They form in pebble-sized splashes, aerodynamically shaped, or layered and are green, brown, or black.

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