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What are Asteroids?

asteroids in space

Asteroids | A Brief Explanation


Asteroids which can be as small as a pebble or as large as 1000km in diameter are rocky and metallic objects that orbit the sun.

They're believed to be left over from the formation of the solar system.  Some believe they may be the remains of a planet that was destroyed in a massive collision many millions of years ago.

When an asteroid is on a collision course with Earth it's called a meteoroid.  Should an asteroid enter Earth's atmosphere friction causes it to incinerate into a streak of light.  The 'fireball' or 'shooting star' is in fact a meteor.

If the meteoroid does not burn up completely whatever is left crashes into the surface of Earth.  That object is a meteorite.

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