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Space Rocks
Little chunks of rock and debris in space are called meteoroids. They become meteors -- or shooting stars -- when they fall through a planet's atmosphere; leaving a bright trail as they are heated to incandescence by the friction of the atmosphere. Pieces that survive the journey and hit the ground are called meteorites.

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Life
Meteoroids, meteors and meteorites cannot support life on their own. However, these chunks of space debris may have brought the building blocks of life (amino acids) to Earth.
Life
Transformers
How is it that the same object can have three names? Through a change in appearance or attributes, that's how. Meteoroids become meteors -- or shooting stars -- when they interact with a planet's atmosphere and cause a streak of light in the sky. Debris that makes it to the surface of a planet from meteoroids are called meteorites.
Transformers
Bits and Pieces
Scientists estimate that 1,000 tons to more than 10,000 tons of meteoritic material falls on the Earth each day. However, most of this material is very tiny -- in the form of micrometeoroids or dust-like grains a few micrometers in size. These grains pose no threat to life on Earth.
Bits and Pieces
It Fell From the Sky
There are only two known instances of someone getting hurt from a meteorite. In one instance, a woman was severely bruised by an eight pound stony meteorite when it crashed through her roof in 1954.
It Fell From the Sky
Hoba
The largest individual meteorite found is the Hoba meteorite in southwest Africa, which has a mass of about 54,000 kg and mostly consists of iron. (Picture is of a smaller iron meteorite.)
Hoba
Life
Meteoroids, meteors and meteorites cannot support life on their own. However, these chunks of space debris may have brought the building blocks of life (amino acids) to Earth.
Life
Transformers
How is it that the same object can have three names? Through a change in appearance or attributes, that's how. Meteoroids become meteors -- or shooting stars -- when they interact with a planet's atmosphere and cause a streak of light in the sky. Debris that makes it to the surface of a planet from meteoroids are called meteorites.
Transformers
Bits and Pieces
Scientists estimate that 1,000 tons to more than 10,000 tons of meteoritic material falls on the Earth each day. However, most of this material is very tiny -- in the form of micrometeoroids or dust-like grains a few micrometers in size. These grains pose no threat to life on Earth.
Bits and Pieces
It Fell From the Sky
There are only two known instances of someone getting hurt from a meteorite. In one instance, a woman was severely bruised by an eight pound stony meteorite when it crashed through her roof in 1954.
It Fell From the Sky
Hoba
The largest individual meteorite found is the Hoba meteorite in southwest Africa, which has a mass of about 54,000 kg and mostly consists of iron. (Picture is of a smaller iron meteorite.)
Hoba