Vote 2020 graphic
Everything you need to know about and expect during
the most important election of our lifetimes

What's the difference between a comet, asteroid, meteor, meteoroid and meteorite?

Illustration for article titled Whats the difference between a comet, asteroid, meteor, meteoroid and meteorite?

With all the recent buzz over asteroid AD14, the meteor over Chelyabinsk, the fragments of meteorite recovered in Russia's Ural mountains, and yesterday's news that the fireball originated from our solar system's asteroid belt, one can't help but wonder: what's the difference between all these -oids, -ors and -ites? Are they all just different words for the same space rock, or do they actually mean something?

Advertisement
Advertisement

For a detailed explanation, see here, but this great little infographic by Tim Lillis of Narwhal Creative tells you most of what you need to know when it comes to the official nomenclature for near-Earth objects (or, in the case of meteorites, on-Earth objects):

Advertisement
Illustration for article titled Whats the difference between a comet, asteroid, meteor, meteoroid and meteorite?

[Tim Lillis on flickr]

H/T Erin!

Share This Story

Get our newsletter

DISCUSSION

Ornithopterx
Ornithopterx

I don't know if this video is well-known enough to be obligatory, but it should be.