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If a smaller celestial body collides with a larger celestial body, but neither is classified as a planet, what do we call the smaller celestial body that collided with the larger one?

Asteroid/meteoroid or meteor/meteorite?

Do we call it asteroid collision or meteorite collision from the smaller to the greater?

Is there any logic in saying "meteor" even when there is virtually no atmosphere involved?

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    $\begingroup$ Could you rephrase that, please? It looks as though you mean 'if two heavenly bodies collide, what should we call the collision?' Is that right? 'If a smaller body collides with a larger… neither classified as a planet, what do we call the smaller body… ?' has no Answer, for simple lack of reference. Is the real Question what we call a collision between bodies of different sizes? Two asteroids suffer an asteroid collision, etc… but you're doubtful what term to use for bodies of (significantly) different sizes; whether a 'big' suffers a 'small' or a 'small' suffers a 'big' collision? $\endgroup$ Jun 28, 2023 at 19:30
  • $\begingroup$ @RobbieGoodwin, could you edit my question for better understanding? The root of the problem was that I did not have the correct definition of a meteor. I thought that a space object was renamed from an asteroid/meteoroid to that when entering the atmosphere of another celestial body. So the doubt expanded to whether there was a logic to consider this therm on objects with virtually no atmosphere. I learned here that a meteor is the definition of a luminous phenomenon, and that a space object is called an asteroid/meteoroid according to its size, regardless of the medium in which it is found. $\endgroup$
    – kokbira
    Jun 29, 2023 at 14:30
  • $\begingroup$ Uh… Why, please? Anyone, including me, editing your Question would never show 'better understanding'. In any case but perhaps some you yourself can list, editing would show up your lack of understanding. Can you list some? $\endgroup$ Jul 9, 2023 at 22:59
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    $\begingroup$ Where did you get the idea that a meteor is a luminous phenomenon? $\endgroup$ Jul 9, 2023 at 23:16
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    $\begingroup$ Well, yes… but even though that's true, it's not really true. A meteor is already a meteor, long before it gets near an atmosphere. It happens to look to us like a falling or 'shooting star' once it starts burning its way down to the surface, but that's just an optical illusion with a poetic name. A star shines because though far away, it's big and very, very bright. A meteor shines because it's very close… not because it's big or really bright. For an analogy, ask a search engine about Fathers Ted and Dougal and the size of cows… $\endgroup$ Jul 21, 2023 at 20:30

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They are both called asteroids.

There is neither logic, nor science, nor even a convention of calling either body a "meteor", since meteors are strictly atmospheric phenomena, that occur when a small asteroid (a meteoroid) hits the atmosphere. When a meteoroid hits the moon, no meteor is formed.

In the case that two asteroids collide we call it an asteroid collision.

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    $\begingroup$ Indeed, 354P/LINEAR is still classified as an asteroid. $\endgroup$
    – notovny
    Jun 11, 2023 at 13:26
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The terms "asteroid", "meteoroid", "meteor", and "meteorite" are defined by their location and state.

  • Asteroids are rocky bodies that orbit the Sun. They are typically larger than meteoroids, but smaller than planets.

  • Meteoroids are smaller rocky bodies that orbit the Sun. They are typically too small to be seen with the naked eye.

  • Meteors are meteoroids that enter Earth's atmosphere. They are typically vaporized by the heat of the atmosphere, but sometimes they survive and hit the ground.

  • Meteorites are meteors that have survived their passage through Earth's atmosphere and hit the ground. So, if a smaller celestial body collides with a larger celestial body, but neither is classified as a planet, then the smaller celestial body would be called a meteoroid. The collision would be called a meteoroid collision.

There is no logic in saying "meteor" even when there is virtually no atmosphere involved. The term "meteor" is specifically used to describe a meteoroid that is entering or traveling through Earth's atmosphere. If there is no atmosphere involved, then the object cannot be a meteor.

In the case of a collision between two celestial bodies in space, the terms "asteroid collision" or "celestial body collision" would be more appropriate.

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    $\begingroup$ Most asteroids are too small to be seen. They are far away. Why mention this specifically for meteoroid? $\endgroup$
    – eshaya
    Jun 12, 2023 at 15:14
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    $\begingroup$ "So, if a smaller celestial body collides with a larger celestial body, but neither is classified as a planet, then the smaller celestial body would be called a meteoroid." I don't think so. If a comet hits our moon, we would not call the comet a meteoroid. $\endgroup$
    – Connor Garcia
    Jun 12, 2023 at 16:36

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