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What do meteorites tell us about Earth's interior?
Question Date: 2018-10-09
Answer 1:

That is a great question! Certain types of meteorites can tell us a LOT about the Earth's interior. For example, Fe-Ni meteorites (the ones that are all metal) are thought to represent thecores of asteroids or planets. chondrites (stony meteorites) come from the crust of other planets - for example, a shergottite is an achondrite from the Martian crust). Pallasites are meteorites that have both metal and the mineral olivine in them, and it's thought that they represent the core-mantle boundary of a planet or large asteroid.

Other types of meteorites, chondrite, are much more common and represent material that never formed into a planet or large asteroid. Instead, they are very small, and haven't been changed since the beginning of our solar system. Although chondrites don't directly correlate with the interior structure of the Earth, they can tell geologists what "ingredients" were in the solar system when the Earth first formed, and that can also help us to figure out what is inside of the Earth.


I hope this has helped your understanding of different types of meteorites. Have a great day! Cheers,

Answer 2:

They can tell us so much! There are three main types of meteorites: "stony" meteorites which are made up of rocks, "iron meteorites" which are made of iron, and a special type ofmeteorite that has rock and iron in it.

The stony meteorites look really similar to rocks that make up Earth's crust and mantle (some volcanoes erupt pieces of the mantle, so we think we know what mantle rocks look like). So we think that stony meteorites represent what the rocky part of planets look like. These stony meteorites were some of the first things to form in our solar system! Iron meteorites are kind of a puzzle, because iron metal doesn't exist in Earth's crust or mantle. So where did these meteorites come from? Well, iron is really dense so scientists think that after a planet forms, the dense iron in the planet sinks towards the center due to gravity. All the dense iron in the center makes up the planet's core! So we think that iron meteorites come from the core of baby planets in our solar system that got blasted apart when they collided with other baby planets. Finally, the last type of meteorite (and what I think is the prettiest type), is made up of iron AND rock. We call these meteorites pallasites. Scientists think that pallasites form at the boundary between a planet's core and the rocky mantle. So these three types of meteorites can represent all of the parts of a planet!

Answer 3:

Meteorites splintered from the larger parts that eventually became the planets in our solar system, and did not experience the types of forces that shaped the planets on a large scale. By determining the composition of these meteorites and comparing it to the composition of both old and newer rocks from Earth, we can start to understand how and when Earth's layers formed, provided that we know some of the processes that shaped Earth's layers.

Answer 4:

The meteorites landing on Earth are broken off of bodies that formed in our solar system around the same time as Earth and are made of similar materials since they had the same materials available.

Many of the elements in meteorites occur in similar proportions to the ones in Earth for the same reason, though some, especially volatile gasses, will not stay in a meteorite because it is not massive enough to produce the gravity needed to maintain an atmosphere. It is much easier to measure all of the elements in a meteor than in the Earth due to size and complexity, so we can base our estimates of what Earth is made out of based on what we find in meteorites.

Answer 5:

Meteorites tell us almost nothing about the Earth's interior. Meteorites come from space. The composition of all meteorites in the solar system tells us what the Earth is made of, so we can guess that elements that are common in meteorites but not on Earth's surface are more common inward (e.g. iron), but we can tell more by the seismic waves traveling through the Earth.

Answer 6:

I thought meteorites didn't tell us about Earth's interior, because meteorites fall to Earth from outer space. But here is something about what meteorites DO tell us about Earth's interior:

read here

Apr 14, 2015 - A new analysis of the chemical make-up of meteorites has helped scientists ... The heat and pressure in the Earth's interior mixes the chemical ...

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