DID YOU KNOW: Biggest meteorite to hit earth was 60 tonnes

JUST what is a meteorite and what are they doing in our skies?

A meteorite is a rock from space that has fallen to earth.

Meteorites are some of the oldest rocks in existence and have remained untouched since the formation of our solar system.

Most meteorites are believed to be broken fragments of asteroids, comets and even planets.

Meteorites vary in size; the smallest can weigh just a few grams while largest of meteorites can weigh several tonnes.

What was the biggest meteorite to fall to earth?

The largest known meteorite, the Hoba meteorite, fell in Namibia.

Because it's so big, it has never been moved from the location where it fell.

It is estimated to be about 60 tonnes and is comprised of iron.

How many meteorites come to our planet?

Between 36 and 166 meteorites weighing more than 10 grams are believed to fall on every million square kilometres each day.

About 18,000 to 84,000 meteorites larger than 10 grams fall to earth each year.

Video shows fireball in skies of Arizona 

For a few seconds earlier this year, night turned into day as an extremely bright fireball lit the pre-dawn sky over much of Arizona, blinding all-sky meteor cameras as far away as western New Mexico.

According to NASA, the light was caused by a small asteroid, about five feet in diameter with a mass of a few tonnes. 

Similar to the Queensland meteorite, there was no known damage or injury, just light and sound. 

"There are no reports of any damage or injuries-just a lot of light and few sonic booms," said Bill Cooke in NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

Meteors, meteorites, what's the difference? 

Asteroid: a large rocky body in space, in orbit around the Sun.

Meteoroid: much smaller rocks or particles in orbit around the Sun.

Meteor: If a meteoroid enters the Earth's atmosphere and vaporizes, it becomes a meteor, which is often called a shooting star.

Meteorite: If a small asteroid or large meteoroid survives its fiery passage through the Earth's atmosphere and lands on Earth's surface, it is then called a meteorite.

What happens when a meteorite strikes the earth? 



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