NOV 08, 2017 2:56 PM PST

The Differences Between Common Space Rocks

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard


You probably hear the term 'space rock' getting thrown around a lot, but there are several kinds of space rocks, and it's important to know the distinctions between them. Some of the most prevalent types of space rocks are asteroids, comets, and meteors.

Asteroids are fundamentally solid hunks of rock and metal. Many reside in the asteroid belt between Jupiter and Mars, where they orbit the Sun just like planets do, but they can move out of position occasionally from forces that are out of our control.

Comets are icy rocks that ordinarily reside in the further reaches of the solar system. From time to time, these cold space rocks come too close to the Sun, and they begin exhibiting a tail when the Sun warms up the surface ice. Without its ice, a comet would be classified as an asteroid.

Smaller rocks, which occur from asteroid and comet collisions, are known as meteoroids. These are the space rocks that most commonly fly into Earth's atmosphere, and many of them burn up before ever reaching the surface; those that make it through our atmosphere become known as meteorites.

While astronomers have already found some of the solar system's most massive space rocks, they're always looking for new ones. Most of the uncharted space rocks out there are negligible, and charting them would be seemingly useless.

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
MAY 10, 2020
Plants & Animals
Penguins Have a Rough Time Combating Larger Predators
MAY 10, 2020
Penguins Have a Rough Time Combating Larger Predators
Humboldt penguins are small and easy prey for larger predators, and with that in mind, it may not come as much of a surp ...
MAY 12, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Here's What Would Happen if You Fired a Gun in Outer Space
MAY 12, 2020
Here's What Would Happen if You Fired a Gun in Outer Space
Many of the world’s greatest science fiction films depict massive battles in outer space between starships and eve ...
MAY 31, 2020
Space & Astronomy
SpaceX Demo-2 Mission Docks Safely with International Space Station
MAY 31, 2020
SpaceX Demo-2 Mission Docks Safely with International Space Station
SpaceX and NASA gave the green light for the precedent-setting Demo-2 mission Saturday afternoon, officially bringing cr ...
JUN 01, 2020
Plants & Animals
Sifaka Lemurs Endure Dangerous Ventures to Find Food
JUN 01, 2020
Sifaka Lemurs Endure Dangerous Ventures to Find Food
Sifaka lemurs exist in families of such large numbers, that even an entire cluster of massive trees isn’t fruitful ...
JUN 26, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Astrophysicists Find Evidence of Nearby Planet that May Sustain Life
JUN 26, 2020
Astrophysicists Find Evidence of Nearby Planet that May Sustain Life
Researchers have found that a nearby red dwarf star, known as Gliese 887, may host three planets, one of which could sus ...
JUL 13, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Earth's Moon Had Magma Ocean for 200 Million Years
JUL 13, 2020
Earth's Moon Had Magma Ocean for 200 Million Years
The moon may have hosted an ocean of magma for 200 million years according to new findings- considerably longer than pre ...
Loading Comments...