Meteorites from Earth

Do the orbital mechanics of it make this an extremely unlikely event?  Anything found on Earth that we think came from the Moon, perhaps?

9 thoughts on “Meteorites from Earth”

  1. Interesting question, but I think the concept of a meteorite originating on earth is an oxymoron. By definition a meteorite is “a small extraterrestrial body that hits the Earth’s surface.”

    So, not sure how those earth-bound rocks would have gone ET to then be captured once more by earth’s gravity. Maybe AP has some ideas on this…

    db

  2. Perhaps when the moon was created. If I recall correctly, the moon is hypothesized to be a chunk of the earth, separated by a big collision of some sort. Should have lots of Earth rocks flying around the solar system, some of which may have made it to Mars.

  3. I was going to mention a theory I had about whether we could ever have intraterrestrial meteorites. If chunks of the earth were knocked off the surface at some point, perhaps by cometry collision and launched into orbit (not sure whether the mechanics would bear up to close scrutiny here), then some of those orbiting rocks would ultimately fall to earth (if they didn’t burn up in the atmosphere).

    Incidentally, before the oxygen era, did objects entering earth’s atmosphere burn up in the same way as they do today with all that O2 around?

    db

  4. Incidentally, before the oxygen era, did objects entering earth’s atmosphere burn up in the same way as they do today with all that O2 around?

    I could be wrong but I do believe the majority of the atmosphere burn is due to friction rather than a chemical reaction with oxygen.

  5. …I realise that but, presumably there is chemistry that occurs because of the presence of oxygen too…maybe not, twas just a thought

  6. My guess would be that the surface escape velocity of the source planet is the most important factor. Since Earth is denser than Mars in addition to being much more massive, any rocks being thrown up from the surface are less likely to have enough velocity to escape into space.

  7. …that’s kind of what I thought. Unless we’re talking interplanetary scale collisions or something.

  8. But in this case, a rock only has to get above the atmosphere. Depending upon your definition of a meteor, once it gets above the atmosphere it might be considered a meteor when it again falls.

    Also notice that “escape velocity” is a little fuzzy here in the Earth-Moon system. A rock which does not reach “escape velocity” might, before it can fall back to Earth, be within the Moon’s influence and end up being accelerated around the Moon and Earth before again encountering the Earth…or escaping.

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