The Astronomy of the Bolide
The bolide from the Alamo Impact Event first existed within the asteroid belt of the Solar System. The asteroid belt lies between Mars and Jupiter and is occupied by several irregularly shaped bodies known as asteroids. More than 100,000 asteroids are moving within this belt, creating a very turbulent environment. Many of these asteroids often collide into one another, breaking off pieces and forming meteoroids that can be projected towards Earth. About 15,000 metric tons of meteoroids, space dust, and debris enter Earth's atmosphere every year!
Meteoroids can vary from fragile, snowball-like objects to very dense rocks, often containing a lot of nickel and iron. Meteoroids travel around the Sun, orbiting in a variety of ways and moving at different velocities. The fastest recorded meteoroids travel at about 26 miles per second! As a meteoroid enters Earth's atmosphere, its velocity can increase up to 44 miles per second, producing a very large force once impacting the Earth.