Meteors and Meteorites

Part of Hall of the Universe.

Meteors and meteorites_HERO AMNH/D. Finnin

Meteors, also known as shooting stars, are pebble-size fragments of comets and asteroids streaking through Earth’s upper atmosphere. Air friction causes these objects to glow and vaporize. Larger Pieces can survive the descent to Earth, and are then called meteorites.

Crater Examples

Craters are found on all solid bodies in the solar system. They range in size from microscopic pits to giant impact basins that stretch a thousand kilometers.