A meteorite is a natural object originating from outer space that survives an impact with the Earth's surface.
While in space it is called a meteoroid. When it enters the atmosphere, air resistance causes the body to heat up and emit light, thus forming a reball, also known as a meteor or shooting star. The term bolide refers to either an extraterrestrial body that collides with the Earth, or to an exceptionally bright, reball-like meteor regardless of whether it ultimately impacts the surface.
Generally, a meteorite on the surface of any celestial body is a natural object that has come from elsewhere in space. Meteorites have been found on the Moon and Mars.
Meteorites have traditionally been divided into 3 broad categories: stony meteorites are rocks, mainly composed of silicate minerals; iron meteorites are largely composed of metallic iron-nickel; and, stony-iron meteorites contain large amounts of both metallic and rocky material.
There are 3 broad categories of meteorites: