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Studying micrometeorites can help us learn about the composition of asteroids and comets. They can even tell us about the origin of our solar system.

Most micrometeorites are made of silicate minerals and sometimes glass. As they enter the atmosphere, at speeds up to 70 kilometres per second (nearly 160,000 miles per hour), friction with the air makes them heat up. The ones travelling the fastest then melt and cool to form smooth, round droplets.

Some of the micrometeorites studied at The Natural History Museum are collected from Antarctic glacial ice. Their structure and chemical composition are examined using scanning electron microscopes (SEM).