meteor


meteor
meteorlike, adj.
/mee"tee euhr, -awr'/, n.
1. Astron.
a. a meteoroid that has entered the earth's atmosphere.
b. a transient fiery streak in the sky produced by a meteoroid passing through the earth's atmosphere; a shooting star or bolide.
2. any person or object that moves, progresses, becomes famous, etc., with spectacular speed.
3. (formerly) any atmospheric phenomenon, as hail or a typhoon.
4. (cap.) Mil. Britain's first operational jet fighter, a twin-engine aircraft that entered service in 1944.
[1570-80; < NL meteorum < Gk metéoron meteor, a thing in the air, n. use of neut. of metéoros raised in the air, equiv. to met- MET- + eor- (var. s. of aéirein to raise) + -os adj. suffix]

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Streak of light in the sky that results when a particle or small chunk of stony or metallic matter from space enters Earth's atmosphere and is vapourized by friction.

The term is sometimes applied to the falling object itself, properly called a meteoroid. Most meteoroids, traveling at five times the speed of sound or more, burn up in the upper atmosphere, but a large one may survive its fiery plunge and reach the surface as a solid body (meteorite). See also meteor shower.

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Universalium. 2010.

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