Most people probably think that a meteorite is a piece of rock from space that has landed on Earth.
While there is much truth in this - the reality is FAR more interesting!
There are many different types of meteorite that have been found on Earth.
To simplify this I will focus on the three main types that are found.
This is the most common type of meteorite found. Roughly 95% of all meteorites found on Earth are stony meteorites.
Most stone meteorites originate in the Asteroid belt. This is a huge swathe of space -rich in stone meteorites. It exists in the space between Mars and Jupiter.
If this rock wasn't so near Jupiter it may well have formed into a planet.
BUT - The huge gravitational forces exerted by Jupiter have meant that these rocks keep getting pushed out of the asteroid belt and are sent out across our Solar System -( and some ending up on Earth...)
Iron meteorites are more rare than stone meteorites and account for roughly 1 or 2% of the meteorites found on Earth.
Many iron meteorite falls create a HUGE impact, unlike stone meteorite falls that are often smaller and more random in nature.
Falls such as the Sikhote Alin fall in Siberia, in 1947 - where a huge swathe of the forest was destroyed by the iron meteorite as it hit the ground - coming in at a steep angle..
Stony Iron Meteorites
These are usually called Pallasites.
They are made up of a mixture of ferrous iron and a crystalline material called Olivine.
Pallasites are a mysterious and stunningly beautiful meteorite - and are thought to have derived from an explosion in the core of the parent body.