Meteors: Crash Course Astronomy #23

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Today Phil helps keep you from ticking off an astronomer in your life by making sure you know the difference between a meteor, meteorite, and meteoroid. When the Earth plows through the stream emitted by a comet we get a meteor shower. Meteors burn up about 100 km above the Earth, but some survive to hit the ground. Most of these meteorites are rocky, some are metallic, and a few are a mix of the two. Very big meteorites can be a very big problem, but there are plans in the works to prevent us from going the way of the dinosaurs.

Meteorite Links:
Aerolite Meteorites, Inc.:
Big Kahuna Meteorites:
Arizona Skies Meteorites:

Table of Contents
What Meteors Are 0:59
Meteor Shower 4:22
What Meteors Are Made Of 7:10
Very Big Meteorites Can Be a Very Big Problem 8:36

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Shooting star [credit: Randy Halverson /]
Cosmic Fireball Falling Over ALMA [credit: ESO / Christoph Malin]
Meteor light [credit: Randy Halverson /]
Bolide 10/16/14 [credit: reddit user -545-]
Meteor Video [credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center]
Orbit Video [credit: NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio]
When Gemini Sends Stars to Paranal [credit: Stephane Guisard]
Perseid below space station [credit: NASA]
Geminids shower [credit: Neil Zeller]
Cygnus Reentry [credit: ESA/NASA]
Stony meteorite [credit: Wikimedia Commons, H. Raab]
Iron meteorite,_5.5_billion_years_old,_found_near_Flagstaff_AZ_-_Franklin_Institute_-_DSC06707.JPG [credit: Wikimedia Commons, Daderot]
Stony iron meteorite [credit: Wikimedia Commons, Supportstorm]
Chondrites,_carbonaceous_chondrite_(14787764392).jpg [credit: Wikimedia Commons, James St. John]
Pallasite [credit: James St. John]
Aftermath of Chelyabinsk Meteor [credit: NASA]
Near-Earth asteroid 2013 [credit: Gianluca Masi, permission granted by author]
Dinosaur drawing courtesy of Zach Weiner of Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal


FriedrichHerschel says:

There's an even better way to piss off astronomers:
"hey, can you do a horoscope for me?"

Sylvan farrell-woollett says:

hay whats your sign

Emerson Henrique says:

Make a episode about astrophotography!

Shaer Ahmed says:

none of the previous videos had so vast amount of information that's totally alien to me!!

superdynamitebros says:

Every time I See a shooting star I think of darker than black.

Kade Wood says:

click on this 2:02 an you'll see how hilarious this is. XD

Nguyen Vincent says:

"Crash probes into meteors"… Do meteors sometimes not change their orbit, but change their angle when they get hit? Also breaking up a huge one can make a meteor shower, sort of. Except they will burn out.

Darth Marr says:

Sam bot…. John green

Krombopulos Michael says:

If a big meteor happens every century or so, then hasn't humanity already survived dozens of them?

Andres Castro says:

yo no se.

tomshrader says:

Oh my gosh Phil, you're such a Libra!

Petras Balsys says:

Hey Phil, great episode! I just had one question to ask..
What's your sign ?

dadeskr says:

I saw a bolide meteor during the day time, I was at a campsite somewhere in South Africa and it passed over the horizon, I remember the front part being bright white with an orange tail (which I thought was fire) streaking out behind it. It left after images in my eye once it was gone. I'd love to see one again some time…

Nick Diamond says:

These are great micro lessons. For people that like to learn about science in general.

TheFireflyGrave says:

MST3K reference identified.

Thiago Freitas says:

– So, you collect rocks?
– Jesus Marie, they are meteorites!

Galahad Knight says:

You get a like just for the MST3K reference alone ;-)

dadalala says:

in Creole please.

Nicole Alexandra says:

really sick of astronomy and astrology being pitted against each other, if only each side actually took the time to do some research into the other…

Timmie1995 says:

I recently saw a shooting star in Spain. It was very bright, and so impressive.

FuzzyPooka says:

Me and some of my buddies took a bunch of blankets, and sat out on peninsula on my lake for last years Geminids. Tea to keep us warm, and hundreds of shooting stars. I stargaze every night, but it was truly inspiring, because some of my friend nods had never seen a shooting star before, and they were Boy Scouts. XD

koolguy728 says:

Lol hauling mass. Phil you slay me

Angel Terri says:

I saw a 'shooting star' years ago while I stood outside my house. It was awesome.

deereboy8400 says:

Larry Niven!

IRONMANAustralia says:

Space Programme built on the work of Wernher von Braun.  Who built the V2 a result of Germany starting WWII.  So when we are saved from asteroid impact, don't forget to thank Adolf Hitler.

Enclave Soldier says:

Could a big enough meteorite kill off fish and other sea lifeforms that we depend on if it happens to hit somewhere in the great ocean?
The shock-wave i reckon would be devastating even under water.

Enclave Soldier says:

This video brightened my day. Get it? brighten. …. I find my own way out. :c

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