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The smallest meteorites, called micrometeorites, range in size from a few hundred micrometres (μm) to as small as about 10 μm and come from the population of tiny particles that fill interplanetary space ( The effect of the final impact with the ground of meteoroids about a kilogram or less in mass is usually an anticlimax.
The fall can go unnoticed even by those near the impact site, the impact being signaled only by a whistling sound and a thud.
In the liquid or gaseous state, however, particles can move around and boil off.
Because of radioactive decay, the material starts out with a larger amount of daughter isotope than is chemically favorable, so some of it will escape to bring the material to equilibrium.
In modern usage the term is broadly applied to similar objects that land on the surface of other comparatively large bodies.
The recent news article on a meteorite that originated on the moon was able to list the major impact events it experienced while on the moon, and to date them.
Many meteorites are recovered only because at least one fragment of the meteoroid strikes a house, car, or other object that draws the attention of...
that strong gravitational perturbations by the planets, especially Jupiter, can put meteoroids into Earth-crossing orbits.
Although evidence from studies of meteors suggests that a small fraction of the cometary material that enters Earth’s atmosphere in discrete chunks possesses sufficient strength to survive to reach the surface, it is not generally believed that any of this material exists in meteorite collections.
For further discussion of the sources of meteorites and the processes by which they are brought to Earth, such as asteroids and comets are most likely to preserve evidence of events that took place in the early solar system.