Meteors

The space rock, recovered from the Western Sahara of Africa in 2011, formed 4.5 billion years ago and slammed into Earth after an asteroid impact sent it flying across space five to ten million years ago.

Oldest Martian Meteorite on Earth Traced to Its Origin on the Red Planet

Researchers used machine learning algorithms to determine which crater on Mars the space rock came from

A waning crescent moon, pictured here, occurs right before a new moon. The second new moon in a single calendar month is often called a black moon.

View a Rare Black Moon This Weekend

The phenomenon will also be marked by a partial solar eclipse

The 55-faceted gemstone is believed to be the largest cut black diamond in the world.

A Huge Black Diamond, Purportedly From Outer Space, Is Now Up for Sale

The gem known as the 'Enigma' is expected to fetch around $7 million at auction, though experts are skeptical of its cosmic origin

Stargazers watch Comet Neowise shoot across the sky on July 19, 2020 outside of Los Angeles, California.

Ten Dazzling Celestial Events to See in 2022

Stargazers in North America can look forward to meteor showers, lunar eclipses and a stunning multi-planet lineup this year

Exploding meteors, also called airbursts, happen with a chunk of space rock smashes into Earth's dense atmosphere. 

Boom Heard in Pittsburgh on New Year's Day Was Likely an Exploding Meteor

The energy released during the blast is as powerful as 30 tons of TNT

Two reseach teams analyzed a sample of the Ryugu's surface.

What Five Grams of 'Primordial' Stardust From an Asteroid Tell Scientists About How the Early Solar System Formed

Ryugu is a carbonaceous, water-rich space rock with a unique, dark coloration and porous composition

The researchers plan to to gather images, measurements and possibly samples of the meteorite, per CTV News. They are also asking residents near Golden to check for video, such as dash cam footage, from October 3 at 11:33 p.m. that may have captured a glimpse of the fireball. (Pictured: A shooting star streaks across a starry sky in British Columbia; image is not associated with the incident.)

Meteorite Crash-Landed in a Canada Woman's Bed While She Slept

Ruth Hamilton awoke unharmed when the fist-sized space rock landed on her pillows

People lie on the ground to view the Perseid meteor shower in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado at an astronomy night event on August 12, 2018.

How to Watch the Perseid Meteor Shower

Known for its 'fireball' meteors, the Perseid shower began on July 14 and will peak in mid-August

The fireball cruising across the sky was most likely a fragment of an asteroid called a 'bolide'.

Fireball Illuminates Skies Across East Coast of Florida

The asteroid fragment weighed 900 pounds and hit Earth's atmosphere at 38,000 miles per hour

A fulgurite made of fused quartz found in Florida

Ancient Lightning May Have Sparked Life on Earth

More than a billion strikes a year likely provided an essential element for organisms

The meteorite is a carbonaceous chondrite. There are only 51 similar samples out of 65,000 meteorites in collections around the world.

Rare Meteorite Found in U.K. Driveway Could Hold Secrets of the Early Solar System

Thousands of people spotted the fireball on February 28, and more fragments may still be scattered in Gloucestershire

A meteorite in the process of being recovered by volunteers in the Antarctic Search for Meteorites program. The shiny fusion crust on this meteorite suggests it may be an achondrite.

Smithsonian Voices

What Antarctic Meteorites Tell Us About Earth's Origins

Each year, Smithsonian scientists collect hundreds of meteorites from Antarctica that reveal details about the origins of Earth and our solar system

The meteor shower is named for the Orion constellation because that’s where the meteors seem to emerge from.

How to See the Orionids Meteor Shower Peak Tonight

The meteor shower reaches peak visibility just before dawn on Wednesday morning but will last until November 7

Bennu is shaped like a three-dimensional diamond and seemingly smooth from far away. OSIRIS-REx is in the foreground of this artist’s replication. The spacecraft will gather a sample from Bennu next week.

Smithsonian Voices

What an Asteroid Could Tell Us About Ancient Earth

Knowing those rocks’ origins will help scientists learn more about the composition of objects in the solar system and asteroid belt

They're here until Thursday!

Perseid Meteor Shower Reaches Peak Starting Tonight

The early mornings of August 11, 12 and 13 are the best times to view the annual summer 'shooting star' display

Smithsonian Geologist Liz Cottrell answers your questions in the second season of the National Museum of Natural History’s YouTube series, “The Dr. Is In.”

Smithsonian Voices

What Is Hotter Than the Sun?

Get the facts from Smithsonian geologist Liz Cottrell in the latest episode of "The Doctor Is In."

New research claims to have found the earliest evidence of a person being killed by meteorite. This photo depicts a meteorite entering Earth's atmosphere during the Leonid meteor shower in November 2002.

Cool Finds

Archivists Find the Oldest Record of Human Death by Meteorite

The 1888 historical account is likely the first ever confirmed case of a human being struck dead by an interstellar interloper

An image of the April 2012 Lyrid meteor shower raining down on Earth, taken from the International Space Station.

How To Watch April’s Lyrid Meteor Shower From Home

Though not as plentiful as the Perseids in summer, the Lyrids can serve up some serious fireballs

A new type of aurora, called auroral dunes, produces horizontal, undulating stripes of green that resemble mounds of sand on a beach.

A New Type of Aurora Ripples Across the Sky in Horizontal Green ‘Dunes’

Originally observed by citizen scientists, the unusual light show might help researchers better understand a poorly studied layer of the atmosphere

Dust-rich outflows of evolved stars similar to the pictured Egg Nebula are plausible sources of the large presolar silicon carbide grains found in meteorites like Murchison.

Meteorite Grains Are the Oldest Known Solid Material on Earth

The oldest dust sample, perhaps 7 billion years old, predates the formation of our planet and the sun

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