Owing to its material and spiritual significance the shooting down of meteorites (shooting stars) is being treated in twoinstalment, beginning from the material (physical).

On dark nights any persistentobserver of the heavens sees bright streaks of light, occasionally, darts quickly across the sky in very straight lines and then quickly disappears: into the darkness of the night. This phenomenon is commonly called shooting stars.  Stars do not shoot as such, since they are actually suns. When near to our earth they are called sun, like our own sun. On the other when millions of miles away they are called stars. But most importantly if stars or suns were to shoot from their positions in the heavens there will be a great disturbance in the solar systems including our solar system. What is therefore called shooting stars are in effects meteorites. It is one of the interplanetary debris or pieces of broken up bodies orbiting in space. Another class of interplanetary bodies are comets. They are bigger than meteorites. Yet a third class much bigger than meteorites and comets are asteroids also called minor planets. Using naked eyes it is usually difficult to differentiate between these three bodies as they speed across the heavens.But for all practical purposes the movement of meteorites is easily discernible from the movement of comet and asteroids.

They usually move in very straight lines accompanied by bright lights and then quickly disappear.

The study of meteorites began only recently for the fact that they became accessible do scientific equipment only in the 20th century of advanced science. Before then they were mostly inaccessible. Meteorites are subsequently of three categories: First, are stony meteorites. They make up to 94% of all materials that for down to earth; they are mostly silicate (Sand) materials.  Second, are Iron meteorites that constitute 4% of all materials that fall down to earth.They are alloys of nickel and iron. Third are stony iron meteorites that constitute 1% of all materials that strike the earth. Meteorites broke off from larger bodies such as asteroids. They date as far back as 4.6 billion years ago that coincides with the time of formation of the earth and other planets that also date to 4.6 billion years ago. Thus substantiating the fact that meteorites were once part of larger planetary bodies that later broke away.The presence of iron and nickel in iron meteorites are strong indicators that they were most probably formed during a supernova when the sun broke down at the point in time when Iron was being synthesised in the sun.  Iron, cobalt and nickel have the greatest binding energy pernucleon to account for why they are regarded as the strongest elements. Carbonaceous chondrites are a class of stony meteorites noted for their high carbon contents as the 20 amino acids plus water.  These are strong indicators that the basic building blocks of life could have formed elsewhere in the universe and then transported to earth.This has a strong bearing on Theologyconcerning the creation of Adam. Some theologians are of the opinion that Adam was created on earth in the garden of Aden. Others too are of the opinion that Adam was created in the garden of Aden located somewhere in far outer space and later transported to earth when he sinned. Scientists are still researching as to whether life evolved on earth or somewhere in space and later transported to earth.

 As Meteorites speed towards the earth at high velocities that range from 11 km.p.s72 km.p.s, heat is generated by the friction between them and atmospheric gases and ozones as they enter into the earth’s atmosphere. The heats subsequently melt the surface of the meteorites and vaporises them. The vaporised materials in the gas glow to emit the varying hues of beautiful colours seen as meteorites that dart across the sky. The result is that the meteorites, by this mechanism, are reduced to small sizes by the time they reach the earth; hence harmless. In the past large crators were formed when large meteorites speeding through space broke through the protective shield provided by the gases in the atmosphere. Meteoric showers occur when from 15 to 100 meteors dart across the skies per hour.  About ten times in a year meteor showers occur regularly at the following dates inJanuary, April, May, July, August, October, November and December. To account for these observations scientists have proposed the following theory.  That these meteorites move around the sun in large groups called swarms of giving width.  The earth similarly moves in orbitsin space around the sun.

When the meteoric orbits intersect with the earth’s orbit meteoric showers occur.  (See the fig). So far this is just the beginning of more observations. More data are needed to refine this theory.  Last but not the least tens of millions of meteorites occur each day, but only a small fraction of them can be seen using the naked eyes.  Meaning that they occur during day lights, except that they are not visible due to the brightness of the sun.

A few of the numerous Quranic verses on Meteorites include:‘‘We have ordained the lowest heaven with an adornment- the planets.  And have guarded it against all rebellious Satans……  but if any of them (Satan) snatches away something by stealth, he is pursued by a piercing inflame(Shihaab)” (Quran 37:7-11). Other verses also include Quran 15: 19, 72 : 9 etc. The verse means to say that one of the aims of the piercing flames(Shihaab) that we observe darting across the skies is to protect the beautiful planets. Studded into space by God like ornaments. This they achieve by driving away Satans.


Meteorites are pieces of material objects that orbit in space.


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