Explosions, detonations, and rumblings are often heard during meteorite falls, which can be caused by sonic booms as well as shock waves resulting from major fragmentation events.
These sounds can be heard over wide areas, with a radius of a hundred or more kilometers.
Meteorites that are recovered after being observed as they transit the atmosphere or impact the Earth are called meteorite falls. As of April 2016 Meteorites have traditionally been divided into three broad categories: stony meteorites are rocks, mainly composed of silicate minerals; iron meteorites that are largely composed of metallic iron-nickel; and, stony-iron meteorites that contain large amounts of both metallic and rocky material.
Modern classification schemes divide meteorites into groups according to their structure, chemical and isotopic composition and mineralogy.
Very large stony objects, hundreds of meters in diameter or more, weighing tens of millions of tons or more, can reach the surface and cause large craters, but are very rare.
Such events are generally so energetic that the impactor is completely destroyed, leaving no meteorites.
The kind of crater will depend on the size, composition, degree of fragmentation, and incoming angle of the impactor.
The force of such collisions has the potential to cause widespread destruction.
Strewn fields are commonly elliptical in shape, with the major axis parallel to the direction of flight.
In most cases, the largest meteorites in a shower are found farthest down-range in the strewn field.
This article is about debris from space that survives impact with the ground.