Meteor impact, 17th century

Meteor impact, 17th century

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Credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Meteor impact, 17th century. This fall of a meteor to Earth was observed in Styria, Austria, an event that is recorded as having taken place in August 1618. Meteors (also called shooting stars) are fragments of rock from space, debris from the early solar system that create a streak of light as they burn up in the Earth's atmosphere, often at speeds of up to 100 kilometres per second. Sometimes, parts of meteors will survive to reach the ground, when they are known as meteorites. Another name given to them is uranoliths (heaven stones). Artwork from the second volume (second period of 1888) of the French popular science weekly 'La Science Illustree'.

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