Cosmic Mudballs from Space!
Spider Magazine for Kids|Adventures in Space-Time - May/June 2020
ON A TUESDAY night in April 2019, a bright fireball streaked across the sky over Aguas Zarcas, Costa Rica. A meteor! As it entered Earth’s atmosphere, the meteor broke into hundreds of small pieces that rained down on the small town.
Ada Roman

A piece fell through someone’s roof and smashed their table. Another fell through a doghouse and woke up a sleeping dog named Rocky. (Don’t worry. Rocky didn’t get hurt!) What had fallen to earth were big, black chunks of an unusual space rock. And they smelled . . . like Brussels sprouts?

Space Rocks

Space is full of rocks, from giant asteroids to microscopic specks of dust. There are also billions of comets, balls of dirty ice and snow. Pieces of asteroids and comets sometimes break off and form meteoroids, which can be as small as a grain of sand or as large as a big boulder.

When a meteoroid falls through Earth’s atmosphere, it becomes a meteor, also known as a shooting star. If you’ve ever looked up at the night sky and seen a tiny streak of light, what you saw was a meteor burning up as it sped toward Earth. Most meteors burn up completely. But sometimes, chunks of space rock make it to Earth, like the ones that fell on Aguas Zarcas. These now-Earthbound rocks are called meteorites.

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