Reference work entry
A meteorite is the remnant of a meteor that did not completely burn as it passed through the atmosphere and reached the ground. It is a celestial specimen from outer space, which can provide evidence of the physical state and chemical composition of other celestial bodies and help to determine the formation conditions and evolution of cosmic matter. Approximately 1,500 meteorites with masses greater than 100 kg are estimated to approach the Earth every year, but only approximately 10 kg of the meteorite remains reach the Earth’s surface. Therefore, only four to five meteorite pieces can be found every year. Several types of meteorites associated with approximately 3,000 falling meteorites have been collected. More than 20,000 pieces of meteorites have been collected on Antarctica, and more than 2,000 pieces have been collected from deserts (through 1999) (Figs. 18 and 19).
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