Meteorite.fr - All about Meteorites
Basics
Meteorites in History | History of Meteoritics | Origins of Meteorites | Meteorite Charts | Exceptional Meteorites | Links & References

Basics

In this section, we would like to introduce you to the fascinating world of meteorites. We provide you with the relevant basic information, including some facts about Meteorites in History, the History of Meteoritics, and the Origins of Meteorites. Did you know that some meteorites are actually from Mars or from the Moon? Our Meteorite Charts contain listings of the largest meteorites ever found on Earth. If you like sensations, you will certainly enjoy our page about Exceptional Meteorites, which focuses on meteorites that hit people, cars, houses, and animals, as well on those with scientific sensations. Did you know that some meteorites contain amino acids, the fundamental building blocks of life? Last, but not least, have a look at our selected Links & References. The Famous Fall of Ensisheim, Alsace, 1492
The Ensisheim Meteorite, 1492

Meteorites in History

Throughout the ages, meteorites were venerated as sacred objects by different cultures and ancient civilizations. The spectacular fall of a meteorite, accompanied by light and sound phenomena, such as falling stars and sonic booms, has always kindled the human imagination, evoking fear and awe in everyone who witnesses such an event. For obvious reasons, the remnants of these incidents, the actual meteorites, were often kept as sacred stones or objects of power. They were worshiped, and used in their respective religious ceremonies. >> more...

History of Meteoritics

Today, we can hardly believe that meteorites didn't attract much serious scientific attention during the early centuries of the Enlightenment. When they did, they were usually explained by simple atmospheric processes, such as showers of hail condensing in clouds, or as terrestrial rocks that had been struck by lightning - hence the name "thunderstones". Others believed that meteorites were volcanic rocks, violently spewed out during major eruptions. Nobody even thought of the possibility that meteorites might be rocks from space. >> more...

Origins of Meteorites

Although Chladni convinced most scientists in the early 19th century that meteorites actually represent genuine rocks from space, nobody really knew where they came from. Did they have their origin on the Moon, on other planets, or did they represent chunks of matter wandering homelessly through our solar system? Were they parts of comets or stars, or did they even stem from outer space, some place beyond the confines of our known world? It took more than a century to unlock some of their secrets. >> more...

Meteorite Charts

In our charts, we listed the largest meteorites that have ever been found, the largest historic meteorite showers, and the most prominent prehistoric strewn fields. Did you know that the largest meteorite ever found, Hoba, is an iron meteorite from Namibia, weighing about 60 tons? We also introduce you to the oldest meteorites on Earth. Some of these rocks literally fell hundreds of millions of years ago, and they have been preserved up to this day imbedded in limestone; because of this fact, they are often referred to as "fossil meteorites". >> more...

Exceptional Meteorites

The world of meteorites is an exceptional world full of sensations. However, a meteorite causing any kind of physical damage to people, animals, cars, and buildings, usually receives more public attention than a desert meteorite proving to be a genuine lunar or Martian rock. A meteorite that fell in Nakhla, Egypt, in 1911, caused more attention by the rumor having killed a dog, than by the subsequent realization that it actually represents a rare rock from our red neighbor, the planet Mars. >> more...

 

Links & References

If you would like to learn more about meteorites and the science of meteoritics, we recommend several educational and scientific websites for your further studies. In addition, we recommend some selected publications - scientific books and periodicals that are indispensable for any further study of meteorites and meteoritics. Without the wealth of information provided by these sources, it would not have been possible to create the educational parts of our website. >> more...

 

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