VICTOR HABBICK VISIONS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY VICTOR HABBICK VISIONS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Meteorite over ocean. Computer artwork of a meteorite about to land in an icy ocean. This is a large rocky meteorite, heated red hot by friction with the air. Meteorites are large meteors, fragments of interplanetary debris that enter the Earth's atmosphere, which survive the passage through the atmosphere to the Earth's surface. Very bright meteors or meteorites are known as fireballs. Most of the 500 meteorites which hit Earth each year land in the oceans. If a meteorite of this size hit an inhabited area, the effect would be catastrophic, with extensive damage and loss of life.
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