What is a Meteorite?

By · February 28, 2010 · Filed in What is a Meteorite

Ok before a meteorite is ever called a meteorite it is an meteoroid out in the expanses of space in our solar system. When an meteoroid is on a course with with the Earth and enters the atmosphere, then it is called a meteor. So when you see what most people call a “shooting star” you are witnessing a meteor traveling through our atmosphere. Most meteors burn up in this process. The very few that don’t burn up in the atmosphere and fall to the Earth are then called meteorites.

Now for the types of meteorites and there composition:


Stony Meteorites are characterized by chondrules–small spheres (average diameter of 1 mm) of formerly melted minerals that have come together with other mineral matter to form a solid rock. Most scientist believe Chondrites to be among the oldest rocks in the solar system. 82% of meteorite falls are chondrites.


Stony Meteorites without chondrules. Most scientists believe that some of these meteorites originated on the surface of the Moon or Mars. 7.8% of meteorites are achondrites.


These meteorites are made of a crystalline iron-nickel alloy. Most scientists believe that they resemble the outer core of the Earth. 4.8% of meteorite falls are irons.

Stony Irons

These meteorites are mixtures of iron-nickel alloy and non-metallic mineral matter. Pallasites are a type of stony-iron meteorite with beautiful olivine crystals. Most scientists believe that they are like the material that would be found where the Earth’s core meets the mantle. 1.2% of meteorite falls are stony irons.
Here’s to the perfect hunt!