This matakōkiri (meteorite) was originally found in the Sahara Desert in Algeria. Meteorites found in this area show chondrules which are unknown in Earth rocks and were formed when the Solar System was first developing. This meteorite is a chondrite. Chondrites are stony (non -metallic) meteorites, and are typically about 4.55 billion years old (as old as planet Earth).
Most meteorites are bits of asteroids from the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, although some are bits of comets (meteors) or, very rarely, pieces of the Moon or Mars.
Meteorite: a piece of rock or metal that has fallen to the earth's surface from outer space as a meteor.
Meteor: If a meteoroid comes close enough to Earth and enters Earth’s atmosphere, it vaporises and turns into a meteor: a streak of light in the sky. Because of their appearance, these streaks of light are sometimes called "shooting stars."
Asteroid: An asteroid is a small rocky object that orbits the Sun. Asteroids are smaller than a planet, but they are much larger than the objects we call meteoroids.
Meteoroid: A small piece broken off an asteroid (meteoroids can also come from comets)
Meteorites are 90% rock. Millions of meteoroids travel through Earth’s atmosphere each day.
Over the course of Earth’s history, many meteorites (large and small) have fallen to our planet’s surface. The most famous are the Allende, the Fukang, Hoba, and the Willamette Meteorite.
Sixty-six million years ago, dinosaurs became extinct due to an asteroid hitting earth.
There has only been one recorded incident of a meteorite hitting a human. On Nov 30 1954 Ann Hodges was struck by a meteorite in Alabama, USA.
> Click here to download 'Meteorites- A 'Hands on Tauranga' resource for teachers
max dimension: 70mm
subject area: Science
specific themes: Space, Environment, Minerals, Rock
handling collection number: HC162