Iron-nickel meteorite found near Fort Stockton, Texas, in 1952. (Smithsonian)
View large image
› Link: Meteorites and Craters Meteorites are pieces of asteroids and other bodies like the moon and Mars that travel through space and fall to the earth. They are rocks that are similar in many ways to Earth rocks, but it is exciting to find a piece of another planet here on Earth. Meteorites fall to Earth all the time and are distributed over the entire planet, so you could even find one in your own backyard!
Scientists believe the meteorites may hold answers to unsolved mysteries about our solar system and the origins of molecules necessary for life. By studying the meteor, scientists also will learn more about the early solar system and the formation of our planets.
On Thursday, Nov. 8, Dr. Bill Cooke answered your questions about meteorites. Cooke is the lead for the Meteoroid Environment Office at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. As a special bonus, Dr. Marc Fries, a noted expert in meteorites and their recovery, joined Dr. Cooke in answering your questions about meteorites.
› Chat Transcript (PDF, 145 Kb)
More About the Chat Experts
Dr. Bill Cooke
Dr. Marc Fries