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Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Shooting Star Meteorite Composition

Someone asked me what shooting stars are made of. The scientific term for Shooting Star is Meteor or Meteorite. Meteors come in various shapes, sizes and origins. The origin of a meteor can be calculated based upon its composition, i.e. what it is made of.

In general meteors originate within our own solar system and are often composed of material similar to either the earth, the moon, the planet mars, or asteroids. The vast majority of meteors burn up as they enter the earth's atmosphere at which point we see them as shooting stars. Of the meteors which have landed intact, the biggest, in Hoba Africa, is made of iron. On average, based upon the numbers of meteors which have been recovered after landing on earth, iron based meteors are larger than rock based meteors.

Some scientists believe that a meteorite found Alaska contains nanobacteria, a microscopic form of bacterial life. This is particularly interesting due to the fact that the meteorite originated from the planet mars. If this meteorite is proven to contain nanobacteria then perhaps there is life on mars, albeit not in the form of "little green men".

Have you seen a shooting star?

Good luck hunting shooting stars, if you have any comments please let me know and if you have any other questions which you'd like me to answer for free please send them to Ben Dash at


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