Smaller bodies, on the other hand, generally radiated away this heat quite efficiently, which allowed their interiors to remain relatively cool.Consequently, they should preserve to some degree the dust and other material from which they formed.Meteorite, any fairly small natural object from interplanetary space—i.e., a meteoroid—that survives its passage through Earth’s atmosphere and lands on the surface.In modern usage the term is broadly applied to similar objects that land on the surface of other comparatively large bodies.Prairie soil is largely derived from fine glacial loess and contains few large rocks.The collectors realized that there was a reasonable chance that any rocks the farmers unearthed would include meteorites.First, when the solar system began to form, it was composed of gas and fine-grained dust.The assembly of planet-sized bodies from this dust almost certainly involved the coming together of smaller objects to make successively larger ones, beginning with dust balls and ending, in the inner solar system, with the rocky, or terrestrial, planets—Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars.
Available evidence indicates that asteroids and comets are leftovers of the intermediate stages of the aggregation mechanism.
A better approach to finding meteorites than searching places with few rocks, however, is to search places where they can accumulate over time—i.e., where the surface is quite old and rates of weathering are low.
Because meteorites contain minerals, such as iron metal, that are easily weathered, they do not normally last long on Earth’s surface.
Indeed, they tend to accumulate on the surface in arid regions if weathering rates are slower than the rates at which meteorites fall to Earth, provided that little windblown sand accumulates to bury them.
Areas of the Sahara in North Africa and the Nullarbor Plain region in Australia have proved to be good places to look for meteorites.
Fewer than 1 percent of meteorites are thought to come from the Moon or Mars.