Текст Meteors and Meteorites

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Meteors and Meteorites

Every few months newspaper readers and TV viewers are informed of a big shower of meteors. Meteors are chunks of rock or iron that travel around the sun. The Earth often comes close to them and its gravity pulls them in. Meteors glow white hot as they fall through the air. Most of them are changed to vapor or dust before they reach the ground. People call them shooting, or falling stars.

Shooting stars puzzled the people of long ago. The Romans believed that a shower of shooting stars meant that their gods were angry.

Some meteors that fall from the sky are not completely destroyed during their journey through the air. They are too big. After they hit the ground they are called meteorites. Fortunately, there are not many of them, and even more fortunately, most of them fall into the sea.

On land meteorites could do a great deal of damage. In Arizona, there is a huge crater which scientists think was made by a group of meteorites. In a forest in Siberia, some big meteorites fell at the beginning of the 20th century and knocked down all the trees for miles around. In 2013, some meteorites caused great damage when they fell down near Chelyabinsk.