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Fallen Stars: A Gallery of Famous Meteorites

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Stones from the Sky

Credit: S. Molau and P. Jenniskens, NASA Ames Research Center
Earth gets alien visitors all the time, in the form of space debris that makes it through our atmosphere. The terms can be confusing, so here's a glossery:…Read More »









Meteoroids are defined by the International Astronomical Union as "a solid object moving in interplanetary space, of a size considerably smaller than an asteroid and considerably larger than an atom." When a meteoroid enters a planet's atmosphere, its bright path across the sky is called a meteor. When a meteor makes it through the atmosphere without burning up entirely, the remnants found on earth are called meteorites.

Above, a meteor outburst during the Perseid meteor showers of 1995. Friction in the atmosphere turns rocks into fireballs.   Less «
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Stephanie Pappas

Stephanie Pappas is a contributing writer for Live Science. She covers the world of human and animal behavior, as well as paleontology and other science topics. Stephanie has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of South Carolina and a graduate certificate in science communication from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She has ducked under a glacier in Switzerland and poked hot lava with a stick in Hawaii. Stephanie hails from East Tennessee, the global center for salamander diversity. Follow Stephanie on Google+.
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