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The Ultimate Meteorite Quiz
by Staff
Meteors and meteorites have fascinated human beings for ages, but have you managed to turn your fascination into some hardcore knowledge? Wishing on a star isn't going to help you now.

The terms meteoroid, meteor and meteorite each refer to a different stage in an object's descent. What do we call it as it streaks through a planet's atmosphere?

  • meteor
  • meteoroid
  • meteorite

Which of the following religious artifacts is thought to contain fragments of a meteorite?

  • the Ark of the Covenant
  • the Black Stone
  • relic of the tooth of Buddha

Several meteorites have made quite a name for themselves on Earth. Scan this list of three cosmic celebrities and pick the one that stands accused of the 1911 death of an Egyptian dog.

  • Nakhla
  • Chicxulub
  • Hoba

Dead dinosaurs? Religious relics? Meteors can be a big deal, but just how many 3.5-ounce (0.1-kilogram) and larger meteors enter the Earth's atmosphere on a given day?

  • 200
  • 2,000
  • 20,000

The Black Stone isn't the only meteorite thought to hold religious significance. Which meteorite, also known as "Tomanowos," is venerated by the Clackamas tribe of North America?

  • Sikhote-Alin
  • The Willamette Meteorite
  • Orgueil Meteorite

It's hard to gauge the effectiveness of wishing on a falling star, but that doesn't mean meteors and meteorites are useless. Which of the following ways can you NOT use a meteor or meteorite?

  • heal a wound
  • build a sword
  • send a radio transmission

In 1992, the Peekskill meteorite burned a trail through the atmosphere and managed to steal the headlines for a few days. What did it do?

  • It hit a small German boy.
  • It stirred up a tornado.
  • It dented a 1980 Chevy Malibu.

In 2007, a meteorite reportedly made hundreds of residents in a village near Lake Titicaca in southeastern Peru sick. How?

  • The resulting crater ruptured sewer lines, polluting the water supply.
  • It caused carbon dioxide to rise from a nearby volcanic lake.
  • It freaked people out and stirred up arsenic in the soil.

A 160-foot (49-meter) meteorite landed in Arizona about 50,000 years ago, leaving behind a mile-wide (1.6-kilometer) and 50-foot (174-meter) deep gash in the ground. We know it today as the Barringer Crater, or Meteor Crater. Based on this scenario, how big a crater (in diameter) do you think the six-mile-wide (10-kilometer-wide) Vredefort Meteorite caused in South Africa?

  • 8 miles (13 kilometers)
  • 86 miles (138 kilometers)
  • 186 miles (299 kilometers)

The Leonid and Perseid meteor showers annually light up the night sky with brief trails of incandescence. But just what dumps all this cosmic dandruff on us every year?

  • The Earth passes through debris left in the wake of a comet.
  • Meteorites strike our unprotected moon, blasting lunar dust back at the Earth.
  • Meteor showers occur every time an angel gets its wings -- or a Norse god sneezes. Whichever event happens first.