What are Comets, Asteroids, Meteoroids, Meteors & Meteorites

What are Comets?

Comets are snowballs of frozen gases, rock, and dust. Just like other planets it also has an orbit and it also revolves around the sun. When it comes, close to the sun it heats up emits dust and gases into a colossus flaming head larger than most planets.

  • There are 4595 known comets to date.
  • 4 well-known comets are – Hartley 2, Halley, Giacobini-Zinner, and Borrelly.

What are Asteroids?

Asteroids are rocky, airless leftover from the early formation of our solar system about 4.6 billion years ago. They have an address they are found between Mars and Jupiter. The whole part revolving between these two planets is known as Asteroid Belt.

  • There are 9,31,942 known asteroids to date.

What are Meteoroids?

Meteoroids are basic objects in space that range in size from dust grains to small asteroids. Asteroids are known as mini planets but the smaller size of asteroids can be a meteoroid.

What are Meteors?

When a meteoroid enters a planet’s atmosphere at high speed and burns up, the fireballs or shooting stars are called meteors.

What are Meteorites?

When a meteoroid gets through a trip through the atmosphere and strikes the ground it’s called a meteorite.


Sometimes meteor can even appear brighter than venus that’s when they are called fireballs.

Top 5 Biggest Meteor impacts in history

The meteor that wiped out the dinosaurs wasn’t the only largescale meteor impact in earth’s history many others were significant enough to change life on earth. Here are the top 5 biggest meteor impacts in history –

  1. Vredefort Crater – Estimated impact date was around 2 billion years ago. Location – South Africa
  2. Sudbury Basin – Estimated impact date was around 1.8 billion years ago. Location – Canada
  3. Acraman Crater – Estimated impact date was around 580 million years ago. Location – Australia
  4. Woodleigh Crater – Estimated impact date was around 364 million years ago. Location – Australia
  5. Manicouagan Crater – Estimated impact date was around 215 million years ago. Location – Canada

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