Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Meteorites On The Moon

Meteor impact on the moon was mentioned in comments the other day with me wondering whether the Moon's lack of atmosphere allowing most meteors to strike it might create dangerous conditions for humans that might be there. Earth/Sky News comes to the rescue, although they didn't really answer my question. No mention of how many meteorites hit the Moon on a given day, except for there being a lot. 

But they kinda answered one question I had: the difference between meteors and meteorites. I'd understood that meteorites where just small meteors but had seen the two terms seemingly intermixed: "though I don’t recall ever hearing a strict delineation, we tend to think of asteroids as huge mountains of rock or metal in space. We think of meteoroids as smaller-sized space debris, and those smaller bits are what these scientists are mostly talking about here."

I still want to know if those meteorites are numerous enough to pose a threat to astronauts. I suppose I should write them and ask.


At 8:48 AM, Blogger ULLR Rover said...

At 11:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a difficult time imagining them hitting with force, considering the lack of gravity on the moon which would slow things down by multitudes.

At 11:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Local gravity is only one consideration. The relative speed is a function of the elliptical orbit around the sun which can vary from 26 to 298 miles per second, at least according to the speed of comets. without an atmosphere to slow it down, the rocks/ice would hit at full speed.

At 11:33 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

I read somewhere that meteorites generally travel through space at 20 or 30,000 miles per hour. Wherever I read that also said impact on a satellite or spacecraft could be catastrophic. At the same time, I've read they mostly just bounce off space stations and the guys inside just hear a clunk when it hits.

I'm not sure, as it's been a while since I read that. I still think it could be a problem if it hit a guy in a space suit.

At 2:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i believe meteors burn up in the atmosphere. meteorites strike the surface. same space debris.

At 4:30 PM, Blogger Rick Wentworth said... here is a good one fred
doesnt say difference you were asking about but it does have speed of impact on the moon

At 4:55 PM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...


And it does say that meteorites, or whatever you want to call them could pose a threat to people on the moon. Thanks.


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