meteorite

Meteorites in New Hampshire

Meteorites are chunks of metallic or stony material that survive their plunge through the Earth’s atmosphere and land on the its surface. Intersecting the Earth’s orbit and surviving a ride through the atmosphere without being vaporized, is a very rare event. While out in space, debris in the solar system is called meteoroids. However, they become meteors when they enter our atmosphere. Meteoroids are generally the size of a grain of sand, and are quickly vaporized by the heat of friction created as they collide with air molecules of the upper atmosphere. We see this vaporization as a “shooting star,” or when several meteors appear seconds or minutes apart we see a “meteor shower.”

Meteorites in Kentucky

Three sites in Kentucky bear the scars of ancient impacts by meteorites. These Kentucky astroblemes represent the highly eroded cores that were situated under the original craters; the crater walls eroded long ago. Each of these structures is characterized by a circular belt of arc-shaped faults crosscut by faults radiating outward from the central core of intensely broken rock.

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