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Author Topic: If a meteorite makes a crater, where the meteorite go?  (Read 1547 times)

Dusan

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Dusan asked the Naked Scientists:
   
Hello,

If a meteorite makes a crater, where does the meteorite go?

If a meteorite is attracted by the Earth (or by another planet or a moon) and the meteorite makes a crater, why the attracted meteorite is not still on the Earth in the crater the meteorite made?

What do you think?


 

Offline Karen W.

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If a meteorite makes a crater, where the meteorite go?
« Reply #1 on: 12/11/2009 12:38:41 »
What a great question.. Is it so hot it disintegrates?
 

Offline Vern

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If a meteorite makes a crater, where the meteorite go?
« Reply #2 on: 12/11/2009 12:49:04 »
In the case of the Meteor Creator out in Arizona the meteor seems to have broken up into small pieces with much of it vaporized. The iron rained down in little bee bee sized nodules that are still scattered over Arizona and near by states. I'm not an expert but I saw the visual at the Meteor Creator site. It is worth a visit. :)
 

Offline Don_1

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If a meteorite makes a crater, where the meteorite go?
« Reply #3 on: 12/11/2009 13:17:09 »
You'd best wait for a meteorologist to answer this one.

When a meteor enters the Earth's atmosphere it will be travelling at speeds of more than 10 kilometers per second (km/s) and anything up to 50km/s. At these speeds, the friction between the meteor and our atmosphere causes the meteor to become red hot. Meteors regularly enter our atmosphere and burn up long before they would impact with the surface. These are known as 'shooting stars'. This will happen at a height of around 90kms.

If a meteor were big enough and travelling at the right trajectory to make it to ground level, it would reach a temperature of around 2200oK. Its speed will decrease due to the friction, but will still be travelling at quite a few km/s.

Upon impact, most of the meteor, which hadn't already vaporised during its descent, will vapourise. Some debris will be scattered around over a great area and the odd few larger pieces may be found.
 

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If a meteorite makes a crater, where the meteorite go?
« Reply #3 on: 12/11/2009 13:17:09 »

 

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