The Discovery of Meteorites

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The discovery of meteorites is an event that dates back thousands of years. Find out about the discovery of meteorites with help from an experienced education professional in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: About Astrophysics & Outer Space
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Video Transcript

Hi, my name is Eylene Pirez, and I'm an astrophysicist and this is the discovery of meteorites. So first I want to clarify what meteorites really are. If we have the Earth, when you have a rock from space that has passed the atmosphere and burned to the atmosphere and has actually reached the ground, that's called a meteorite. Whether it came from an asteroid or a meteoroid it doesn't matter, it's just the rock that is left on the surface is kind of like a fossil. It's just like what's left over on the surface of the Earth and that's what we call a meteorite. Now a meteorite is not something that we can tell this person discovered it because it's something that a lot of people can see happen, like when you see a meteor shower, you see actual rocks falling onto places of the Earth so what you can actually call a discovery is observations. So I can tell about some of the first few meteorites that we have actually found and the oldest one dates back to 3,000 in 200 before Christ and is found in Egypt and is the first use of meteorite iron to make nine small beads and it was some type of jewelry and they were able to track that back to a meteorite. And then we also have something called The First Shower so the first documented shower was the Leonids and this happened in 1883 and it came from the comet Tempel Tuttle. So these are some of the first documented histories that we have of meteorites but it hasn't really been assigned to the discovery to one scientist. My name is Eylene Pirez, and I'm an astrophysicist and this is the discovery of meteorites.

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