Basically, meteorites are the left out pieces from the solar system. These can be gigantic and can weigh around 60 tonnes while some can be as tiny as a pebble. Majority of the meteorites come from Asteroid belt. Some of the meteorites come from other planets like Mars and even Moon. For many of the meteorites, the parent bodies cannot be identified. Meteorites might even come from comets. Scientists have identified various fragments of meteorites that come from cores of comets.
Meteorites have been falling in form of a fireball on Earth. Scientists study meteorites since they carry information about our solar system, dating back to 4.6 billion years. There is a specific branch of science dedicated to studying meteorites called meteoritics. Classification and identification of meteorite type is also an important aspect to understand more about the origin of meteorites.
WHY DO WE STUDY METEORITES?
By looking at a meteorite and examining it with correct tools, the scientists can gauge the chemical composition of the solar system at the time of its formation. By studying the meteorites from Mars, we can even understand the geology along with the atmosphere of the time when the meteorite was torn apart from the planet.
Basically, meteorites tell us a lot about their origin. Whether it is Vesta, Moon or Mars, chipped off meteorites tend to provide information about their sources. The formation of the solar system is a mysterious subject on which, meteorites shed some light.
To sum it up, the meteorites from the asteroids and other planets helps the scientists in understanding the processes that take place inside the planets. Despite not being able to reach the centre of our planet Earth, meteorites have taught the scientists that Earth possesses an iron and nickel core. When the planets are formed, light materials make up for the rocky crust while metals make up the core.
IMPACT OF THE METEORITES
Asteroids and other large bodies move extremely fast and can hit the Earth with a potent force, forming craters. For example, the Moon has millions of craters formed after a collision with meteorites and other forces. This gives us an insight into the fact that such bodies continue to linger around our neighbourhood more frequently than envisaged.
Our planet Earth has also been struck by a lot of large meteorites every now and then and it is likely to continue.