A meteorite is a rock that falls to earth after a brilliant meteor has passed through the earth's atmosphere.

If you've ever seen a shooting star at night, you can call what you're watching zip brightly across the sky a meteor. If that same meteor makes it through the atmosphere of the earth, its fire burns out and it becomes a meteorite, or a random piece of space debris that may have originally come from an asteroid or comet. The Greek root for both meteor and meteorite is ta meteora, "things in heaven above."

Definitions of meteorite

n stony or metallic object that is the remains of a meteoroid that has reached the earth's surface

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a stony meteorite consisting of silicate minerals
micrometeor, micrometeorite, micrometeoroid
a meteorite or meteoroid so small that it drifts down to earth without becoming intensely heated in the atmosphere
a meteorite composed principally of olivine and metallic iron
a meteorite consisting principally of nickel and iron
Type of:
meteor, meteoroid
(astronomy) any of the small solid extraterrestrial bodies that hits the earth's atmosphere

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