World Builders™                                                                                 Session Two  --  Geology             

          Forming the Rocky Surface of Your Planet     

After many thousands of years your planet will become a world with a solid surface.

Comets, Meteors, and Impact Craters

Sometimes at night we see the fiery flashes of incoming space debris burning in our atmosphere.  What are these shooting stars, and do they ever land  on our world?

Shooting stars are pieces of matter left over from the formation of our solar system.  They are still floating around in space, following their own orbits (even a grain of dust can have an orbit!), bumping into each other, and esponding to the gravitational attraction of other pieces of rock and ice.  When they come near the earth, earth's gravitational field attracts them, and may pull them into our atmosphere.

These objects are classified in various ways.  One way is by size: meteorites are     and meteors are     .  Meteorites burn up in out atmosphere ??? and meteors are large enough to hit the ground

other factors are speed and composition.

Comets are made of rocks and dust various kinds of ice, including water ice.





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© 1996,1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003.   Elizabeth Anne Viau. All rights reserved. This material may be used by individuals for instructional purposes but not sold. Please inform the author if you use it at .