Meteoroids

February 10, 2004

Meteoroids are small rocks in space. Every year, a meteor shower occurs. In a rare occasion, meteor showers turn into deadly meteor storms. The storms can bring meteors to earth to explode, cause devastation, and make a big impact crater.
Meteoroids are formed when small specks of dust and bits of particles from space collect and turn into rocks in meteors. The meteoroids then collect and form a big cloud of meteoroids that orbit the sun. The cloud is called the zodiacal clouds. The cloud is about 10 trillion tons in weight.
A meteoroid’s weight can range from less than a gram to more than a ton. A meteoroid’s size ranges from being microscopic (those meteors are called micrometeoroid) to asteroid sized boulders. Though they are the same thing, just that one is bigger than the other, is was said that there is a higher chance of hitting the earth when it is big than it is small.
When a meteoroid travels into earth’s gravity, and start falling, it is called a meteor. The average speed a meteor travel when is in earth’s atmosphere is about 40 miles per second. The top speed is 45 miles per second.
Meter showers occur many times a year. It happens when the earth enter the orbit of a comet. Comets leave many meteoroids when flying toward the sun. Once in a while, a rare meter storm occurs. It is caused when the earth passes though a part of a comets orbit where lots of meteoroids gather. Another cause is that when a comet brakes up completely and turns into thousand of meteoroids. Thought the broken comet in thousands of pieces, it still travels in its usual orbit and when the meteorite comes toward the earth, the earth’s gravity caused all those loose particle to sprint toward the earth and cause a meter storm. An example of a meter storm caused that way is the Bieliid meter storm where Biela broke up and the remains of the old comet travel in its orbit. In 1872, a large a number of them smashed into the earth’s atmosphere.
When a meteor hits the earth, it is called a meteorite. Though a person getting hit by a meteor straight on has never happened, there is still a chance because an average of about 500 meteorites hit the earth. Though most of them fell into the ocean, some meteor paid unexpected visits like when on April 25, 1969, a 1 pound meteor ended its journey by dropping into a Sprucefield police store house in Northern Ireland. The largest meteorite ever found weighs 60 tons and measures 10 ft across and landed about 10,000 years ago and has never been moved from where it fell. Another big meteorite was discovered in Greenland and weighs about 34 tons. It is now on display in the American Museum of Natural History in New York. Even larger meteorites hit the earth and caused impact craters (a big huge hole in the ground with steep and rounded walls caused by meters when the fall onto land). The most famous American crater is about 50,000 years old and is near Winslow, Arizona. It is called the Barringer Crater. The most striking crater of all craters is the Vredefort Ring in the Transvaal of South Africa measuring 30 miles across caused by a giant meteor in about 250 million years ago. There are all sorts of other large meteorite craters in Siberia, Canada, and the former Soviet Union.
In this essay, you learned about how meteors were formed, how big a meteoroid can be, how heavy a meteoroid can be, how fast a meteor travels, how a meter shower occur, how a meter storm is created, an example of a meter storm, and meteorites of all sorts.