Type of debris in the Solar System
- A Meteoroid is actually cosmic debris in the Solar System.
- As the debris enters a planet's atmosphere, it gets heated up and the glowing particles that it sheds in its wake is called a meteor.
- They are also called shooting stars or falling stars.
- Objects smaller than meteoroids are classified as micrometeoroids and cosmic dust.
- Fastest meteoroids move at about 42 kilometers per second (26 miles per second).
- They are very fast moving objects. Some enter into Earth's atmosphere at a speed of 130,000 miles per hour!
- The 2008 TC3 is the first time that a meteoroid had been observed in space and tracked prior to impacting Earth (Nubian Desert, Sudan).
- Over 750 people are injured as meteor fell in Russia's Ural Mountains in February 2013. Most the injuries are because of shattered window glasses.
- Meteoroid can be diverted off their course by exploding a nuclear device near it. The process is known as 'X-ray slap'.
- Chance of meteorites hitting humans are .0055 per year, or once time every 180 years.
- Up to 4 billion meteoroids fall to Earth every day.
- More than 24,000 meteorites are known to have landed on Earth, but only 34 are believed to have originated on Mars.
- Meteorites are broadly categorized into three types: stony, iron and stony-iron.
- When a meteor produces enough light to cast a shadow on the earth it is called a fireball.
- A few meteors can be seen each hour on any night and from any location.