(Last edited: Wednesday, 27 September 2023, 1:42 PM)

Short definition: A meteorite is a piece of rock or metal originating from space that has landed on the Earth’s surface. Before a meteorite enters the Earth’s atmosphere, it’s called a meteoroid. The phenomenon of a meteoroid burning up and leaving a glowing trail behind is called a meteor.

Detailed definition: A meteorite is a piece of debris, usually of a comet, asteroid, or meteoroid, that has survived its passage through the Earth’s atmosphere and reached the surface. Meteorites vary greatly in size: some, that are called micrometeorites, are less than 1mm in size, and very few are large enough to leave an impact crater. The biggest meteorite ever found - the Hoba meteorite in Namibia - weighs about 60 tons. Most meteorites are stony, and only about 6% of meteorites are iron meteorites or a mix of stone and metal. 

Etymology: meteor (from Greek ta meteōra"the celestial phenomena, things in heaven above") + -ite

Sample sentence(s): Commonly, chondrules can make up 75% of the volume of the meteorites in which they occur. (Source: Cambridge English Corpus | Cambridge University Press | ELT. (n.d.).

Translations: French: météorite

German: Meteorit

Italian: meteorite

Polish: Meteoryt

Swedish: Meteorit

Links to Videos/Articles:

Alexander, C. M., & Wetherill, G. W. (2023, May 11). Meteorite | Definition, Types, Identification, & Facts. Encyclopedia Britannica.

meteorite. (n.d.).

Science with Thomas Stevenson. (2022, August 9). What is a Meteorite? [Video]. YouTube.

» Dictionary of Space Concepts