Difference Between a Meteor and a Meteorite

Most of us have seen a shooting star or a meteor. The flash of light that we see in the sky when a small chunk of interplanetary debris burns as it passes through the earth’s atmosphere is known as a meteor. Note that, meteor refers to the flash of light produced by the debris and not the debris itself. The interplanetary debris is known as a meteoroid. Most meteoroids that enter the earth’s atmosphere vaporise and never reach earth’s surface. The meteoroids that survive the fall and land on earth are called a meteorite.

Difference Between a Meteor and a Meteorite

Let us look at the differences between a meteor and a meteorites to understand these concepts better.



Meteors are still up in the sky.

Meteorites are on the earth.

Meteoroids break down in the earth’s atmosphere which results in the flash of light known meteors.

Meteorites are the broken meteoroids which land on the earth.

The difference between between a meteor and a meteorite is important to know as people often think both these terms mean the same. To Know more about other differences like Difference Between Asteroid And Meteoroid or asteroid and comet differences, etc. Stay tuned with BYJU’S.

Practise This Question

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