Difference Between Meteor and Meteorite

Over the years, some of us have been fortunate enough to witness one or another space phenomenon . Some very beautiful and others truly amazing have been observed, but they all have something in common; they arouse our curiosity to know what causes them or why they happen. Difference Between Meteor and Meteorite

Among the most popular are meteors, but sometimes we also refer to these as meteorites and the truth is that they are different things, for this reason, below we give ourselves the task of explaining what the difference is between the two.

METEOR Difference Between Meteor and Meteorite

A meteor is the flash of light that follows a piece of debris (meteoroid) entering the atmosphere. It is not the piece of matter itself, but the flash of light that follows it (it looks like a tail of fire). We often see meteors and say they are shooting stars (no, what we see is not stars).

How are meteors produced? They are caused because matter heats up due to friction in the Earth’s atmosphere until it reaches a point where it catches fire.

They happen all the time, but the light pollution and the light that the moon projects does not allow us to see them always; especially in cities. Of course, on some dates more meteors appear than on others.


When meteoroids (particles of ice, rock, or dust) do not disintegrate in the atmosphere and fall on Earth, then they are called meteorites (each of their parts is also called that).

Meteorites can be of different size or weight. One of the largest meteorites found so far is the Willamette meteorite , the largest sex in the world and the largest found in the United States. It measures 10 feet (3.05 m) high, 6.5 feet (1.98 m) wide, by 4.25 feet (1.3 m) deep and weighing about 32,000 pounds (14, 5 tons). However, the largest meteorite found on Earth is the Hobe, which weighs about 60 tons.

Meteorites fall not only on this planet, but also in other regions such as the moon and Mars; therefore, a meteorite is any piece of matter that does not disintegrate in the atmosphere and hits the surface of a celestial body.

There are different types of meteorites, some are composed mainly of rocks, others of metals or minerals such as silicate but currently they are mainly classified according to their structure, chemical and isotopic composition and their mineralogy .

Key differences between meteor and meteor

  • Meteors are the flashes of light that are produced when pieces of matter (meteoroids) enter the atmosphere, while meteorites are meteoroids that do not disintegrate in the atmosphere and make an impact on the surface.

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