What Is the Definition of a Meteor?


Quick Answer

A meteor is defined as a piece of material that passes through Earth’s atmosphere. While it is traveling through space and before it enters the atmosphere, a meteor is called a meteoroid.

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What Is the Definition of a Meteor?
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Full Answer

This debris is heated by the atmosphere, which causes the glowing streak seen from Earth’s surface. Approximately 50 tons of this material impacts with Earth each day. Meteor showers occur when there is a marked increase in meteoric material, such as when Earth passes through a comet’s tail. Some of these showers occur annually.

A meteor’s color depends on its metallic content. For example, a sodium-based meteor appears orange-yellow, and a magnesium-based meteor appears blue-green.

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