What is the difference between a meteor, a meteroid and a meteorite?

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Offline ukmicky

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In regards to the moon when is a meteoroid a meteor, and can one, if it lands on the moon, ever be class as a Meteorite?


[MOD - Altered subject to make it a clearer question - CS]
« Last Edit: 27/05/2008 22:09:12 by chris »

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Offline RD

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When a meteoroid becomes visible in Earth's atmosphere it is called a meteor (e.g. the fireball in the sky),
if it lands on Earth it is called a meteorite,
if it lands on your car it becomes an insurance write-off...
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap021118.html

As the moon doesn't have an appreciable atmosphere then there will be no lunar meteors (no fireball).
« Last Edit: 28/05/2008 00:25:10 by RD »

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Offline ukmicky

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And what about the moon.
In regards to the moon when is a meteoroid a meteor, and can one, if it lands on the moon, ever be class as a Meteorite?

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Offline RD

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As I mentioned there can be no meteors on the moon because it doesn't have an atmosphere,
so astronauts on the moon would not see an incoming meteoroid until it hit the moon's surface.

There are "lunar meteorites" : they are bits of moon rock which have fallen to Earth,
ejected off the moon's surface by meteoroid/asteroid impacts.