What happens when a meteorite hits Earth? If movies are to be believed, a meteorite is a fiery death ball that hurtles through the air with alarming speed until it slams into the ground in an explosion of molten rock and flaming debris that creates an impact crater where it finally rests, red-hot and smoldering. According to science, however, the reality is a little less exciting: Meteorites probably aren't hot when they hit the ground.
What's Really Going On
What Goes Down Must Come Up
Editors' Picks: Our Favorite Videos About Meteorites
What Happens When a Meteorite Strikes Earth?
It's pretty awesome, regardless of whether the meteorite is red hot.
Meteoroid, meteor, meteorite—which is right?
Make a Meteorite Crater at Home
Good news: it involves chocolate.
Written by Ashley Hamer December 30, 2016
Wake up with the smartest email in your inbox.
Our Best Articles Daily