Difference Between Asteroid And Meteoroid

The difference between asteroid and meteoroid is provided here. There are a countless number of objects in the universe orbiting the Sun. Asteroids and meteoroids are commonly known celestial bodies sharing a few common things such as staying close to planets and orbiting the Sun. Well, an asteroid is a relatively small object composed of rock, metal, or carbon. An asteroid is believed to be the leftover in the solar system. On the other hand, a meteoroid is a small particle separated or accidentally detached particle of a comet or an asteroid.

Difference Between Asteroid And Meteoroid

What are Asteroids?

Asteroids can also be called minor planets of the inner solar system. There are millions of asteroids in the asteroid belt. More than, 750,000 are found in the asteroid belt, which is located between Jupiter and Mars. Asteroids can be as wide as hundreds of kilometers. Most asteroids are made of rocks, but with the latest explore some are found to be composed of iron and nickel.

Asteroids don’t have any atmosphere, but because of its enormous size, they exert a gravitational pull. According to experts, few asteroids have one or two companion moons and two similarly sized asteroids orbit each other.

What are Meteoroids?

On the other hand, a meteoroid is a small rock composed of a metal in outer space. They are significantly smaller than asteroids with size ranging from a millimeter to a meter wide. When meteoroids enter the atmosphere of Earth, they eventually vaporize completely and might never reach the surface. They burn during descent and creates a light trail. Meteoroids are harmless but meteors in larger sizes tend to explode in the atmosphere can create shock waves and can cause problems.

In simple terms, the difference between asteroids and meteoroids depends on the question of location. Asteroids are found in space. When it enters an atmosphere, it is known as a meteor and when it hits the ground it is known as a meteorite. Basically, all objects are made of rocks and minerals.

Difference Between Asteroid and Meteoroid

Asteroid Meteoroid
Asteroids are minor planets. Meteorites are falling stars.
The orbital shape is elliptical and orbits the Sun The orbital shape is elliptical and orbits the Sun but, get pulled into larger bodies.
Believed to be a leftover from the planet Believed to be a smaller disintegrated element of comet or asteroid.
Do not have an atmosphere Do not produce an atmosphere, but burn up when falling into a planet.
1 to more than 100 kilometers in diameter Typically, less than 10 meters.

Stay tuned with BYJU’S to learn more about the solar system, the difference between asteroid and comet, and much more.

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs

What is a near-earth object?

Near-earth objects are the comets and asteroids that are pushed by the gravitational attraction of the nearby planets such that they enter the orbit of these nearby planets. The composition of near-earth objects is water ice with dust particles. The comets are originally formed in the colder outer part of the solar system while the asteroids are formed in the warmer inner part between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter in the solar system.

Who coined the term asteroid?

The term asteroid was coined by William Hershel.

Name the law which suggests that there should be a planet between Mars and Jupiter.

Bode’s law suggests that there should be a planet between Mars and Jupiter.

What does Bode’s law state?

According to Bode’s law its is a numerical scheme which gives an approximate distance from the sun to all the seven inner planets except for Neptune.

What are meteorites composed of?

The most common meteorites are known as chondrites which are composed of olivine, pyroxene, and nickel-iron metal.

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