(meteorobs) Definition of a meteor (was Re: Fifth grade sciencebook)

GeoZay at aol.com GeoZay at aol.com
Thu Apr 28 12:52:57 EDT 2005

>> Why would it be called a meteoroid then, when all the  characteristics of 
> being a meteoroid no longer exists?
>  GeoZay<<

The International Meteor Organization (IMO) definition of a Meteoroid is  
A solid object moving  in interplanetary space, of a size considerably 
smaller than a asteroid and  considerably larger than an atom or molecule. 
Ed>> What characteristics George?  If it is still a  surviving object, it is
still in orbit around the Sun, be it a distorted  one effected by gravity and
the retardation of the Earth's  atmosphere. << 
The definition I found on IMO's website doesn't seem complete. But I  suppose 
this would be to include interstellar objects as well?  Anyways, after the 
light phase and while in the dark stage, the then  falling object is no longer 
in interplanetary space...it's in the earth's  atmosphere dominated by the 
earth's gravity.  At this point, I'm  hard pressed to see how the sun is gonna 
jerk the falling object back into  interplanetary space thru any gravitational 
influence or velocity of the  object? Other definitions I've seen for a 
meteoroid included the small object  to be in solar orbit. Again, objects in the dark 
stage are no more in  independent solar orbit than a sea gull. They both are 
at the mercy of  the earth...not the sun. 

>> Even before it has entered the
atmosphere the orbit of  the meteoroid has been altered by the gravitational
effects of the Earth  and in some cases other objects it happens to
Altered yes, but still in an independent solar orbit  at this stage.  

>> Since this topic originated with a  grade five sciencebook, I think we
are getting far too technical for such a  grade level.  Let them be children
and still wish on a falling  star!  ;-)<<
For all those fifth grade thinking people who find this is too technical  for 
them, I'd suggest hitting the delete button, when they see the subject  
matter pertains to meteoroids and meteorites.   :O)

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