Why is it important to study meteorites?
Why are meteorites so important to the study of the earth? I mean what do they tell us about the earth?
Meteorites are left-overs from the formation of the solar system. While Earth rock has been reprocessed by geological forces over many eons, most meteorites have never experienced any reprocessing and are just as they were when the solar system was formed. By examining a metorite, we are looking at the chemical composition of the solar system as it was being born.
A few meteorites come to us from the Moon or other planets, such as Mars. When you are holding a piece of martian meteorite in your hand, you are holding an actual real piece of the red planet. By studying these kinds of meteorites, we learn about the geology and atmospheres of other planets at long ago times, when the meteorite was chipped off the planet.
Get More 'Curious?' with Our New PODCAST:
- Podcast? Subscribe? Tell me about the Ask an Astronomer Podcast
- Subscribe to our Podcast | Listen to our current Episode
- Cool! But I can't now. Send me a quick reminder now for later.
How to ask a question:
If you have a follow-up question concerning the above subject, submit it here. If you have a question about another area of astronomy, find the topic you're interested in from the archive on our site menu, or go here for help.Table 'curious.Referrers' doesn't existTable 'curious.Referrers' doesn't exist
This page has been accessed 23535 times since September 18, 2002.
Last modified: June 4, 2003 9:46:09 PM
Ask an Astronomer is hosted by the Astronomy Department at Cornell University and is produced with PHP and MySQL.
Warning: Your browser is misbehaving! This page might look ugly. (Details)