Meteoroid vs. Asteroid

By Jaxson

Main Difference

The main difference between Meteoroid and Asteroid is that the Meteoroid is a sand- to boulder-sized particle of debris in the Solar System and Asteroid is a minor planet that is not a comet

  • Meteoroid

    A meteoroid () is a small rocky or metallic body in outer space.

    Meteoroids are significantly smaller than asteroids, and range in size from small grains to one-meter-wide objects. Objects smaller than this are classified as micrometeoroids or space dust. Most are fragments from comets or asteroids, whereas others are collision impact debris ejected from bodies such as the Moon or Mars.When a meteoroid, comet, or asteroid enters Earth’s atmosphere at a speed typically in excess of 20 km/s (72,000 km/h; 45,000 mph), aerodynamic heating of that object produces a streak of light, both from the glowing object and the trail of glowing particles that it leaves in its wake. This phenomenon is called a meteor or “shooting star”. A series of many meteors appearing seconds or minutes apart and appearing to originate from the same fixed point in the sky is called a meteor shower. A meteorite is the remains of a meteoroid that has survived the ablation of its surface material during its passage through the atmosphere as a meteor and has impacted the ground.

    An estimated 25 million meteoroids, micrometeoroids and other space debris enter Earth’s atmosphere each day, which results in an estimated 15,000 tonnes of that material entering the atmosphere each year.

  • Asteroid

    Asteroids are minor planets, especially of the inner Solar System. Larger asteroids have also been called planetoids. These terms have historically been applied to any astronomical object orbiting the Sun that did not resolve into a disc in a telescope and was not observed to have characteristics of an active comet such as a tail. As minor planets in the outer Solar System were discovered that were found to have volatile-rich surfaces similar to comets, these came to be distinguished from the objects found in the main asteroid belt.In this article, the term “asteroid” refers to the minor planets of the inner Solar System, including those co-orbital with Jupiter.

  • Meteoroid (noun)

    A relatively small (sand- to boulder-sized) fragment of debris in a star system that produces a meteor when it hits the atmosphere

  • Asteroid (noun)

    Any member of the taxonomic class Asteroidea; a starfish

  • Asteroid (noun)

    A naturally occurring solid object, which is smaller than a planet and is not a comet, that orbits a star

  • Asteroid (noun)

    In the Solar system, such a body that orbits within the orbit of Jupiter


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