The End of a Meteor



Can you clear up a small mystery
On the naming of  cosmic debris?
What’s the right  term employed
Is it meteoroid
Or is meteorite as can be?

Filed under: science


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  • A meteorite has to hit Earth.

    If this one exploded while in the sky,
    it didn't qualify.

    On a more serious note, a Tribune article today notes that while Russian scientists said we could detect the asteroid that passed within 17,000 miles (probably actually 27.2 km) of the Earth without incident and the press got into a frenzy about that, there was no way to detect this space fragment incoming at about the same time.

  • In reply to jack:

    actually 27.2 megameters. I forgot to multiply by 1,000 and then to find the correct prefix.

  • In reply to jack:

    According to Slate, a fragment landed in a lake west of Chelyabinsk creating a 33-foot hole. That's makes it a meteorite, Jack. Imagine if that landed somewhere here.

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    I saw a report to that effect, so if the main body of the meteor is in the lake, it would be a meteorite.

    That report also had that various fragments were already on EBay, but since they didn't match, the report questioned whether some were authentic. Just because there was a pebble on the ground didn't mean that it came from the meteor.

  • In reply to jack:

    There's a sucker born every minute.

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