Meteoroid, meteor or meteorite?

A meteorite begins as a meteoroid. A meteoroid is a rock or particle of debris in our solar system that ranges in size from dust to around 10 metres in diameter (larger objects are usually referred to as asteroids).

A meteoroid that passes through Earth’s atmosphere creates a streak of light that we know as a ‘shooting star’—this is actually called a meteor.

A meteor that survives burning up in Earth’s atmosphere and lands on Earth’s surface is known as a meteorite.