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What's the difference between a meteoroid, meteor, and meteorite?

I am officially 3/4 of the way through this Daily Doodle year!! Super exciting for me. Doodle #275, so I'm going to stick with learning more about these awesome shooting stars, also known as meteors... I think. Today we will cover what the difference between a meteoroid, meteor, and meteorite.


A meteoroid is anything large than a dust particle up to a rock smaller than an asteroid that orbits around the Sun. If a meteoroid enters the Earth's atmosphere and vaporizes, it becomes a meteor, often called a shooting or falling star. A Meteorite is a small asteroid or large meteoroid that survives its fiery passage through the Earth's atmosphere and lands on Earth's surface. Which does pose the question, what if it's a large asteroid?!


Another related term is "bolide", which is a very bright meteor that often explodes in the atmosphere. This can also be called a fireball.


I hope you've been able to catch the Perseid Meteor show, if you haven't yet, go take a peak to the Northeast after midnight.




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