Despite meteorites falling to the ground often throughout the Earth’s lifespan, there are still many myths some stranger than others existing around these elusive fragments from space.
Meteorites are radioactive
One common myth about meteorites is that they contain strange unusual minerals, elements that would bring Superman to his knees like Kryptonite. Meteorites do contain some elements which are slightly radioactive but they are no more radioactive than some Earth rocks.
Hoba meteorite in Namibia largest known to have fallen, watch out for the radiation…or not! (Image credit:wikimedia.org)
Meteorites are red hot when the land
Meteorites can travel at speeds of up to 70km/sec, and are burning up as they travel through the Earth’s atmosphere. This entry through the atmosphere causes the outside meteorite to become heated, change shape and often leave behind a burnt fusion crust. However, whenever a meteorite finally lands on the ground it is not glowing red hot. This is because of the ablation process which occurs on entry, the hot outside layer dissipates, as the meteorite has been travelling so fast only the outside has become heated. Also the meteorite has been in space for billions of years and ...