In the News: Meteors and Meteorites

Meteor Bolide (2011) reprinted with permission by CM Handler

Meteor Bolide (2011) by CM Handler, reprinted with permission.

Many people are still talking about the meteorite that exploded over Russian skies last month, injuring over a thousand people. The bright light and shock waves could be seen and felt for miles. What exactly is a meteorite and how common are they? Learn more about this astronomical phenomenon below.

New resources that will be added to the ipl2 are noted NEW! All other resources can already be found in the ipl2 collection. (find it on the ipl2) discusses the differences between meteoroids, meteorites, and “shooting stars.” Also, it provides the criteria needed for a meteor to be considered a “fireball.” contains many articles, maps, and photographs spanning categories such as rocks, weather, and other earth science topics.

Natural History Museum (find it on the ipl2)

The Natural History Museum located in London, England, has an abundance of information about meteors and meteorites. This page explains the difference between the two and provides a look at the museum’s collection of meteorite fragments. Users can learn about Martian meteorites by navigating a virtual map of the planet.

NASA’s Solar System Exploration (find it on the ipl2)

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has a plethora of information about meteors and meteorites. At the bottom of the page, there is a list of resources that include videos and images of meteors and meteorites. Also, there is an Education tab that includes lesson plans and activities to share what you have learned.

ESA Kids – Our Universe (find it on the ipl2)

The European Space Agency (ESA) has a fun, interactive kids’ page that discusses all things related to space and Earth science. The Comets and Meteors page explains what they are and where they come from. This informative website also includes fun activities and projects that children can do at home or in the classroom.

The Barringer Meteorite Crater (find it on the ipl2)

The Barringer Meteorite Crater is located in northern Arizona and was created fifty-thousand years ago by a giant fireball. This website explains the history of the crater as well as how the crater was formed. There are lessons and downloadable resources for teachers and educators. Also, there is information for people planning to visit the site of the meteorite’s impact.

The International Meteor Organization (find it on the ipl2)

The International Meteor Organization (IMO) is an international, non-profit organization that encourages amateur meteor work. They publish a bimonthly journal and other publications around the world. Nonmembers can peruse the glossary of meteor science and the meteor shower calendar. There are also tips for observing meteor showers to see the best results.

American Meteor Society (find it on the ipl2)

The American Meteor Society also promotes education and involvement with meteor work. This page has an impressive collection of photographs and videos of recent meteor sightings as well as information about fireballs and meteor showers. Users are encouraged to submit their observations and engage in conversation about this amazing phenomenon.

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