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National Geographic: Asteroids Deadly Impact Haley Connors `Cosmic collisions of meteorites have ignited scientist interests into the history of impact formation on earth’s surface. One such scientist that has dedicated his life to impact research is Jean Shoemaker, United States meteorite geologists. Asteroids and meteorites have immense amounts of energy- Jean stated that the energy delivered would be equivalent to setting off all weapons of mass destruction at once. A meteorite is a rock that breaks off and falls from space onto earth’s surface. These rocks light up the sky with fire moving at fast speeds getting brighter as they reach land- commonly known as shooting stars. Typically the earth’s atmosphere will break up these rocks so they either do not reach the surface, or do not have as much impact if they do. In the case that a meteorite hits the ground you will first feel the ground vibrations before being able to see the fire spreading from the meteorite.