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Meteorite-like object falls from sky in Rajasthan: Know about the difference between Asteroid, Meteor, Meteorite and Meteoroid

Recently it is in the news that a meteorite-like object falls from the sky in Rajasthan's Sanchore town and a kind of huge explosion sound is created by its fall that echoed in around two-kilometer stretch. Do you know what are meteorites? What is the difference between meteor, asteroid, meteorite, and meteoroid? Let us find out!
Jun 23, 2020 14:07 IST
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Meteorite like object falls from sky in Rajasthan
Meteorite like object falls from sky in Rajasthan

When a meteorite object of 2.78 kg falls from the sky in Rajasthan's Sanchore town a huge explosion kind of sound was occurred and echoed around a two-kilometer stretch. The people of the town rushed to the police station and local administration to inform about the explosive sound. At that time Sub Divisional Magistrate Bhupendra Yadav reached the spot and was stunned after seeing a piece that falls from the sky and that time it was very hot. Then, the object was allowed to cool and packed in a jar and taken to the police station.

According to the officials, the object was tested in a private lab located at the jeweler's shop in Sanchore itself who had confirmed that it had some metallic properties of Germanium, Platinum, Nickel, and Iron. That is around 10.23 percent of nickel, 85.86 percent of iron, platinum 0.5 percent, cobbit 0.78 percent, geranium 0.02 percent, antimony 0.01 percent niobium 0.01, and other 3.02 percent. For further examination, the team of geologists in the Geographical Survey of India's Ahmedabad and Jaipur office have been contacted for further examination. 

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Now let us have a look at the difference between an asteroid, Meteor, Meteoroid, and Meteorite.

What is an Asteroid?

An asteroid is composed of dirt and ice. It is a relatively small body but is not a comet, usually rocky or metallic. Most of them are from the asteroid belt that is between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. Their size range from nearly 1000 kilometers across, to microscopic dust particles. Due to collisions within the belt objects send towards the Earth.

What are Meteoroid, Meteor and Meteorite?

Basically, they are related to the flashes of light known as shooting stars that are sometimes seen streaking across the sky. But we call the same objects with different names depending upon where it is. 

Small asteroids are known as meteoroids. They are the objects in space that range in size from dust grains to small asteroids. 

When these meteoroids enter the atmosphere of the Earth or that of another planet like Mars at high speed and burn up the fireballs or "shooting stars" are known as meteors. Or we can say that when an asteroid or meteoroid enters the atmosphere and streaks through the sky then it is known as a meteor. At the high speed, they burn up.

When a meteoroid survives a trip through the atmosphere and hits the ground then it is known as a meteorite. Or we can say that anything that survives the impact is a meteorite. 

What is a Meteor Shower? or How many Meteors reach the Earth?

Each day according to scientists about 48.5 tons or 44 tonnes or 44,000 kilograms of meteorite falls on the Earth. Almost all the material is vaporized in the atmosphere of the Earth, leaving a bright trail known as "shooting stars". 
That is tiny rocks enter the atmosphere of the Earth nearly every day, but burn up unnoticed. Larger impacts are rare. As per NASA an object the size of a car should hit Earth every year. 
Various meteors per hour can usually be seen on any given night. Sometimes the number increases dramatically and these events are termed as a meteor shower. 

Let us tell you that the meteor showers occur annually or at regular intervals as the Earth passes through the trail of dust debris that is left by a comet. After a star or constellation, meteor showers are named. The most famous are the Perseids, which peak in August every year. According to NASA, every Perseid meteor is a tiny piece of the comet Swift-Tuttle, which swings by the Sun every 135 years.
Therefore, once every 2000 years, large asteroids are expected to hit the Earth. The Tunguska event was the most damaging meteorite strike in recent times. It was a megaton-scale explosion that destroyed a swathe of Siberian Forest in 1908. 
There are no confirmed reports about a human death being caused by rocks from space.  The Earth's surface vast majority is unpopulated, so the odds of something landing on your head are small. Asteroid monitors believed that they have identified 90 percent of the really huge rocks with the potential to hit Earth. 

According to NASA, there are currently 958,866 known asteroids and 3,647 known comets. 

At last comets orbit the Sun, like asteroids. But comets are made up of ice and dust not rock. Comet's orbit takes it toward the Sun, the ice and dust begin to vaporize. These vaporize ice and dust becomes the tail of the comet. 

So now you may have understood the difference between asteroid, meteoroid, meteor, and meteorite.

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