A meteorite is a natural object originating in outer space
Outer space
Outer space is the void that exists between celestial bodies, including the Earth. It is not completely empty, but consists of a hard vacuum containing a low density of particles: predominantly a plasma of hydrogen and helium, as well as electromagnetic radiation, magnetic fields, and neutrinos....

 that survives impact with the Earth's surface. Meteorites can be big or small. Most meteorites derive from small astronomical object
Astronomical object
Astronomical objects or celestial objects are naturally occurring physical entities, associations or structures that current science has demonstrated to exist in the observable universe. The term astronomical object is sometimes used interchangeably with astronomical body...

s called meteoroid
A meteoroid is a sand- to boulder-sized particle of debris in the Solar System. The visible path of a meteoroid that enters Earth's atmosphere is called a meteor, or colloquially a shooting star or falling star. If a meteoroid reaches the ground and survives impact, then it is called a meteorite...

s, but they are also sometimes produced by impacts of asteroid
Asteroids are a class of small Solar System bodies in orbit around the Sun. They have also been called planetoids, especially the larger ones...

s. When a meteoroid enters the atmosphere, ram pressure
Ram pressure
In physics, ram pressure is a pressure exerted on a body which is moving through a fluid medium. It causes a strong drag force to be exerted on the body. It is given by:P= \rho v^2...

 (not friction
Friction is the force resisting the relative motion of solid surfaces, fluid layers, and/or material elements sliding against each other. There are several types of friction:...

) causes the body to heat up and emit light, thus forming a fireball, also known as a meteor or shooting/falling star.

1492    The Ensisheim Meteorite, the oldest meteorite with a known date of impact, strikes the earth around noon in a wheat field outside the village of Ensisheim, Alsace, France.

1804    High Possil Meteorite: The first recorded meteorite in Scotland falls in Possil.

1846    The Cape Girardeau meteorite, a 2.3 kg chondrite-type meteorite strikes near the town of Cape Girardeau in Cape Girardeau County, Missouri.

1861    The Canellas meteorite, an 859-gram chondrite-type meteorite, strikes the earth near Barcelona, Spain.

1881    A meteorite lands near the village of Grossliebenthal, southwest of Odessa, Ukraine.

1911    A 772 gram stony meteorite strikes the earth near Kilbourn, Columbia County, Wisconsin damaging a barn.

1912    A meteorite with an estimated mass of 190 kg explodes over the town of Holbrook in Navajo County, Arizona causing approximately 16,000 pieces of debris to rain down on the town.

1916    A 611 gram chondrite type meteorite strikes a house near the village of Baxter in Stone County, Missouri.

1932    A {{convert|5.1|kg|lb}} chondrite-type meteorite breaks into at least seven pieces and lands near the town of Archie in Cass County, Missouri.

1973    The Cañon City meteorite, a 1.4 kg chondrite type meteorite, strikes in Fremont County, Colorado.