Meteors and meteorites

A forum set up for physics questions from students in the courses PHYS1121, 1131, 1221 and 1331 at the University of New South Wales. It is intended for questions that cannot readily be answered in class,
either because they fall outside the main syllabus and therefore would be distraction (however interesting) or for other reasons.

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adhiluhur
Posts: 19
Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2011 12:10 pm

Meteors and meteorites

Post by adhiluhur »

Meteor: Quite Interesting.
From various science fiction movies meteors when hitting Earth always portrayed in hot condition.
However if you think about it, space temperature is near absolute zero, do you think they should be freezing when reaching Earth?
Rocks are poor conductors of heat, even though their outer layer get hot as they enter atmosphere their central region should be remain frozen.
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joe
Posts: 755
Joined: Fri Aug 29, 2003 11:57 am
Location: Sydney

Re: Quite Interesting.

Post by joe »

meteors ... do you think they should be freezing when reaching Earth
For a big meteorite, only the outside would get hot. But the outside is what we see. And it can very easily get very hot. See some related calculations:

http://www.phys.unsw.edu.au/~jw/meteor.html

Joe
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