Most of the meteoroids who enter Earth's atmosphere weigh just a few
milligrams and are very small. A meteoroid is a piece of metallic or stony debris
which is in outer space. A meteoroid only becomes a meteorite if it ever
reaches the surface of a planet. The largest meteorite ever found, Hoba, weighs
An average meteoroid would enter the atmosphere between 10 and 70 km a
second. The largest meteoroids are quick to enter the atmosphere. Only
meteoroids larger than a few hundred tons are slowed very little; and large,
and rare meteoroids make craters.
Most meteoroids are no larger than a grain of sand, and are the smallest
object orbiting the sun. Meteoroids are referred to as meteors when they enter
Earth's atmosphere. In the atmosphere most meteors completely burn up at
altitudes of between 60 and 80 miles. After the meteors burn up in the
atmosphere their remains fall to the Earth's surface as dust.
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