[meteorite-list] "Meteorite and meteoroid: New comprehensive definitions"

From: Chris Peterson <clp_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Sun, 4 Apr 2010 11:08:14 -0600
Message-ID: <7E9A4007D5DB4F53B7CD37848E15C514_at_bellatrix>

I agree. There's no reason that "meteoroid" and "asteroid" can't overlap, as
well. That is, all meteoroids are asteroids, but not all asteroids are
meteoroids. A meteoroid is simply an asteroid (whether a few centimeters or
a few kilometers) that is destined to pass through the atmosphere. (A
complete description would be a little more complex, but you get the idea

I also encourage a slightly broader use of "meteorite", by extending the
term backwards in time to the point that the body is actually finished
developing. Thus, the material that survives ablation or other entry
processes should reasonably be called meteoritic during the period it is
falling (cold), but before it actually makes contact with the ground. That
distinction probably isn't important to most here, but to somebody like
myself, focused on meteors as opposed to meteorites, it is useful to have a
term like that, and I don't think we need something new.


Chris L Peterson
Cloudbait Observatory

----- Original Message -----
From: <lebofsky at lpl.arizona.edu>
To: "Galactic Stone & Ironworks" <meteoritemike at gmail.com>
Cc: "Shawn Alan" <photophlow at yahoo.com>;
<meteorite-list at meteoritecentral.com>
Sent: Sunday, April 04, 2010 10:46 AM
Subject: Re: [meteorite-list] (no subject)

Hi Mike:

These are good definitions for things on Earth (meteorites, etc.), but
once one talks about things in orbit around the Sun, this is in the
purview of the IAU and they already have (not so perfect) definitions for
small Solar System bodies.

As I said previously, I would be hard-pressed to call anything larger than
1 meter an asteroid.

Received on Sun 04 Apr 2010 01:08:14 PM PDT

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