Meteoroids vs. Asteroids

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Meteoroids are actually small chunks that have broken off from comets, asteroids, or planetary bodies. If one hits Earth's atmosphere and doesn't vaporize completely before landing, then it's called a meteorite. If it does vaporize, then the light and trail it causes are called a meteor—otherwise known as a shooting star.

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Key Facts In This Video

  1. Meteoroids are much smaller than asteroids, which can stretch for 1,000 kilometers. 00:25

  2. Both meteoroids and asteroids are made primarily of rocks and ice, but they can carry rare materials as well. 01:32

  3. Meteoroids typically vaporize when they hit the atmosphere, whereas asteroids can cause large impacts. 02:40