That bright streak of light, or shooting star, that we see in the night sky is produced by the entry of a small meteoroid into the Earth's atmosphere. A meteoroid is any object in space that is too small to be called an asteroid or a comet. A METEORITE is a meteoroid which survives its fall to Earth without being vaporized.
Meteorites are intriguing to scientists as a rare source of material evidence of the universe beyond the Earth.
There are three main types of meteorites. The most abundant are stone meteorites which are primarily made up of silicate minerals such as olivine, pyroxene and feldspar. As their name implies, iron meteorites are mainly composed of iron but also contain a significant amount of nickel. The rarest of the three are the stony-iron meteorites. They are a mixture of stony and metallic materials.