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A meteorite is a relatively small extraterrestial material body that is usually detected when it enters the earths atmosphere. Upon entering the atmosphere, air drag and friction will cause the meteorite to burn, emitting light and heat, thus forming a shooting star. Most meteorites disintegrates in the air and impacts on the surface of the earth are far between. Large meteorites, however, often cause craters by the force of collision with the earth surface and may cause widespread destruction.

One theory stipulates that a large meteorite impact caused the mass extinction of the dinosaurs.

See Tunguska, Siljan and other notable meteorite impacts. See comet and solar system for more information on extraterrestial bodies.