Asteroids - What Are They?

Asteroids are space rocks which travel extremely fast.  How do they differ from other space rocks, such as meteoroids, meteors and meteorites? 

  • Asteroids are small bodies which orbit the Sun, just like all the planets in our solar system. 
  • Meteoroids are smaller asteroids; planetoids (or "small planets") are larger asteroids.
  • Meteors are asteroids which have entered Earth's atmosphere.  They can break apart, forming smaller pieces, or burn-up completely as they whiz through the atmosphere.
  • Meteorites are meteors (or their fragments) which actually impact the Earth's surface.

NASA explains asteroids - and 2012 DA 14, particularly - in this video clip. 


Media Credits

Video clip from NASA/JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory).  Online, courtesy NASA web site.


To cite this story (For MLA citation guidance see easybib or OWL ):

"Asteroids - What Are They?" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 07, 2013. Dec 13, 2019.
Awesome Stories Silver or Gold Membership Required
Awesome Stories Silver or Gold Membership Required
Show tooltips