GCSE Physics


Meteorites are bits of space debris which fall to the surface of a planet or moon. They are really quite common. More than a tonne's worth of meteorites falls to earth every day!

Travelling at several thousand metres per second, meteorites become super-heated by friction with the Earth's atmosphere and explode on impact with the ground. A large meteorite can impact with the force of several nuclear bombs and even cause the climate to change.

It's thought that a very large meteorite caused the extinction of the dinosaurs. And a meteorite the size of a small house caused the crater below. It is over one kilometer in diameter and 200 metres deep!

Barringer Crater, Arizona

Thankfully, most meteorites are small. And as they originate from comets, asteroids and planets, they reveal a great deal about the early Solar System.

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