Physics of Meteors

Physics of Meteors

Length: 586 words (1.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
A falling star is really a Meteor and is a form of space debris. They are not really stars at all. There are cases where meteors have entered the Earth’s atmosphere. In most cases, Meteors burn up upon entry into the atmosphere and never make it to the surface of the planet. There are times when the meteor starts to burn up, but because the mass is big enough, it makes it to the surface, smaller then when it started out. Through both means, the meteor deals with some measure of resistance upon entering the atmosphere. The main resistance that the meteor encounters is air resistance (or drag). Due to this collision with the atmosphere, the meteor’s surface begins to melt and vaporize causing the meteor to start breaking apart at its outer layers.

When a meteor enters Earth’s atmosphere, they enter at a minimum velocity. This minimum velocity is about 11km per second (25,000 miles per hour). That is quicker then a bullet being fired from a gun. That is only the minimum; there are meteors that can get going much faster. Another comparison to this is that a space shuttle moves around the Earth roughly at about 8km per second.

Most meteors burn up when they enter Earth’s atmosphere. There are a few meteors however, that make it to the surface. The ones that make it to the ground are called meteorites.

Not all meteors are the same material wise. Some meteors are made out of rock, while others are made out of iron. Some even have a mixture of both, but in most cases, it is one or the other.

A fun fact that came up is that as much a 4 billion meteors fall to the Earth each day. Most of them are not significant enough for anyone to notice. Another one is that the Earth gains about a million kilograms of mass a day from meteors.

If you let N equal the number of stone meteorites, which fall on one km2 of the surface of the Earth during a one-year period and N, includes all meteorites with a mass greater then or equal to m kg. The rate of the number of meteorites that touches down is:

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Physics of Meteors." 123HelpMe.com. 26 May 2019
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=153488>.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay about Using Computers to Model the Physics of an Asteroid Crash

- Includes Source Code Computers in Physics Abstract This project is an experiment that sets up the earth's original velocities in the x and y direction and changing them with the velocities/momentum of a meteor. It attempts to simply model a meteorite or asteroid impact upon the earth and the subsequent change to the earth's orbit in terms of distance and speed in relation to the sun. Given the meteor's mass, velocity, angle, and the earth's coordinate point at the point of impact, the computer program computes the earth's resulting velocities, both component and resultant velocities, and also plots the points of the earth's orbit before impact from the x axis and after impact....   [tags: Computer Program]

Research Papers
1813 words (5.2 pages)

Essay on Dimensions Through Physics: An Extreme Approach

- As stated by the relativity laws we are able to understand the relative motion of matter at higher velocities and the phenomena of length contraction and time dilation. We have arguments stating these irregular behavior at incredible speeds. The theories put forward by many scientists just satisfy the particular need but it fails at some place and a new theory was laid to make up the gap. Do you know the real thing. Our ancestors have made the background of Physics. It is really hard to imagine if they have made a little blunder that can collapse the entire World's scientific situation....   [tags: Physics]

Research Papers
1284 words (3.7 pages)

The Physics of Basketball Essays

- The Physics of Basketball Introduction Any child can pick up a basketball, bounce it a few times, and throw it at the hoop without realizing the complex physics he is involving himself in. However, a greater understanding of the sport can be gained by applying the principles of physics to these actions. Through this paper I will be examining the physics of dribbling and shooting. For the equations, I will use a standard men’s basketball with a mass of 25 oz. (0.7 kg) and a diameter of 9.39”. Dribbling If the basketball was simply dropped from a height of 1 meter with no initial push from the dribbler and rebounded from the floor in a perfectly elastic collision, Mechanical Energy for the...   [tags: Physics Essays]

Research Papers
1826 words (5.2 pages)

Essay on The Physics of a Toilet

- The Physics of a Toilet Almost everyone in America has used, is using at this very moment or will use a flushable, indoor toilet. Their privacy, and in some cases cleanliness, are taken for granted day by day. The basic physics of siphoning, and the right amount of water, makes the toilet operate in our desired fashion. This has been the concept of toilets for over 200 years. Some questions do come to mind when witnessing this event; how does the water and waste get sucked out of the toilet bowl....   [tags: Physics Toilet Technology Essays]

Research Papers
1532 words (4.4 pages)

Essay The Physics of Swinging

- The Physics of Swinging My son begs to watch me swing on one of the swing sets at the park. I tell him that there is so much work involved and I don’t know if I have the energy to do all of the many things it takes to make a swing move. It’s such an innocent plea, but complicated in the terms of the actual process of it. The physics of swinging has so many components. From resonance to force, and from the period of the swing to the conversion of energy, the process of swinging is actually a complicated matter....   [tags: Physics Swinging Essays]

Free Essays
1432 words (4.1 pages)

The Physics of Bicycles Essay

- The Physics of Bicycles 1 Spokes Even the earliest bicycles used spokes of one sort or another. In fact, even in ancient times many chariots and animal-drawn carts used spokes. A spoked wheel can be made as strong as a solid one and have only a fraction of the weight.While early spoked wheels were almost always made out of wood, the bicycle wheels and spokes of today are made out steel or aluminum or occasionally more exotic materials such as carbon composite or ceramics....   [tags: physics bicycle bike cycle]

Free Essays
814 words (2.3 pages)

Essay on Physics of Tsunamis

- Tsunamis are waves, or series of waves, created by a disturbance in the ocean. Most of the time this disturbance is by an earthquake but can be from meteorites, landslides, or even explosions. They are sometimes known as tidal waves but this is a misnomer because tsunamis have nothing to do with tides. While tsunamis are feared particularly in light of the December 26th tsunami, the physics behind them is fascinating. One the largest tsunamis in recent history was the Cascadia tsunami in 1700. This occured when two continental plates (stretching from Vancouver to California) slipped causing a 9.0 magnitude earthquake....   [tags: physics tsunami]

Research Papers
974 words (2.8 pages)

Essay about Physics of Catapults

- The ballista, or "shield piercer," was first developed by the Greeks using the same principles as a bow and arrow. Its primary use was to, as the name suggests, pierce enemy shields, since normal bows lacked the power to do so. Early versions of the ballista include the gastrophetes, which is nothing more than an enlarged bow that can be braced against the users body. http://members.lycos.nl/onager/GastrophetesPic.jpg As time went on ballistas were improved to become larger and more powerful, eventually becoming mounted mechanisms that could be operated by two or more people....   [tags: physics catapult]

Research Papers
1136 words (3.2 pages)

Physics of Swimming Essay

- The study of physics and fluid dynamics in swimming has been a field of increasing interest for study in the past few decades among swimming coaches and enthusiasts. Despite the long history of research, the understanding of how to move the human body effectively through the water is still in its infancy. Competitive swimmers and their coaches of all levels are constantly striving for ways to improve their stroke technique and overall performance. The research and performances of today's swimmers are continuously disproving the beliefs of the past....   [tags: physics swim swimming]

Research Papers
1869 words (5.3 pages)

Essay on Physics of Submarines

- Most people have some sort of familiarity with submarine crafts; most of which are most likely related to the navy. This is a very accurate depiction of submarines, as they are primarily used for this, however, they are used in areas of scientific research as well. The purpose of this web page is to go into the history of the submarine to see how it has developed over time. We will also look at how a submarine works, from a physics standpoint. The History of Submarines 332 BC Aristotle described a type of submersible chamber used by the sailors of Alexander the Great during the Blockade of Tiros....   [tags: physics sea ocean submarines]

Research Papers
2080 words (5.9 pages)


Stone Meteorites: log10N = -3.73 – log10m

The equation is different for iron meteorites:

Iron Meteorites: log10N = -5.61 -0.7 log10m

These two equations predict that about 1,500 meteors will arrive within the course of one year with a mass greater then or equal to 100 kg. An object with the mass of 100kg would be reduced to about 10kg by the time it hit the ground.



According to the Fundamentals of Physics by Halladay and Resnick, a drag force is caused by velocity between a fluid and a body. They denote the drag force as D, p as the air density (mass per volume), and A as the effective cross-sectional area of the body to give the formula D = (1/2) CpAv2 for the drag coefficient. They also give the terminal speed as vt = √(2Fg / CpA) based off the equation (1/2)CpAv2 – Fg = 0.





There is an equation to determine the environmental consequences of an impact based on the energy released during an impact. This is related to the kinetic energy of the impactor E. This calculation is described here: E = (1/2) miv02 = (p/12)piL03v02.



For more information (including the calculations for air resistance), you can visit this website: http://www.lpl.arizona.edu/impacteffects/. This site shows different equations that were used to create a program to calculate possible meteor entries into Earth.

Return to 123HelpMe.com