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The official wiki contains the following bit of advice regarding meteors:

Note that if you have built a single-block bridge in the sky in search of Floating Islands it is possible for a meteorite to land on that bridge and you will end up getting only a small amount of Meteorite. It is suggested to destroy any paths in the sky before smashing a Shadow Orb in order to get a normal amount of Meteorite.

As it happens, I went searching for floating islands using bridges made of wood platforms. (No, I have no idea why I did that. Bridges you can fall through seem less useful than the usual kind.) I just smashed a shadow orb and am now wondering whether I need to rush to destroy my bridge before the meteor arrives.

So, can meteors land on wood platforms? I see three possible outcomes:

  1. The meteor ignores the platform (as does water) and lands on the terrain below.
  2. The meteor impacts the platform, partially replacing it with Meteorite.
  3. The meteor impacts the platform, but as it is not "solid", no Meteorite is created.
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Somebody is probably going to have to fill the sky with wooden platforms to figure out what happens. –  Chris Rasys May 27 '11 at 0:52
    
@Chris — Well, I've decided to go on playing without destroying the bridge. If the meteor happens to try to come down on/through the bridge, at least I'll have my answer. ;-) –  Ben Blank May 27 '11 at 1:34
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2 Answers

up vote 26 down vote accepted

During the day which consists of 15 minutes, when a shadow orb has been smashed that has caused no other events there is a chance of 1 out of the 50 on every second that a meteor can be enabled.

If a meteor has been configured it will spawn in the middle of the night which consists of 9 minutes, so it will spawn 4,5 minutes into the night. It spawns as follow:

  1. There must be an active player (on a server), so that it is aware of the Meteor drop.

  2. There should be less than a certain number of meteor tiles (small world: 401, medium world: 601, large world: 801), or the Meteor is not eligible to spawn.

  3. The meteor will land within 672 blocks to each side of the spawn, so that it's close to the player.

  4. A maximum of 100 attempts will be made to land the Meteor in a place where it is eligible:

    1. It may not land 50 blocks close to the borders of the map.

    2. It may not intersect with a Player, a NPC or a Chest.

    3. The top most solid block will be tried.

  5. Drops will be stopped, tiles will be killed and meteorite tiles will be placed.

Now is the question, is the wooden platform a solid block?

Yes, a wooden platform is considered solid, and also has a solid top property. Water only flows through objects that have solid tops, but this doesn't happen for meteorites which check if the object itself is solid. Other items that have this effect include workbenches and tables...

Below 100 from the top they will always stop meteorites, between 50-100 only by a chance.

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Very detailed! No meteor yet, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed. –  Ben Blank May 27 '11 at 15:24
    
@BenBlank: I'm also keeping my fingers crossed, it wasn't easy to figure these things out... –  Tom Wijsman May 27 '11 at 23:21
    
A couple of in-game weeks have passed since I smashed the orb, and still no meteor. I've scoured the entire breadth of my world, including the floating islands. Either the meteor didn't spawn at all (I don't know whether that can happen) or my platform bridge ate it entirely. :-( –  Ben Blank Jun 2 '11 at 1:53
    
@BenBlank: You should get a message when the meteor has landed, smashing an orb doesn't necessarily spawn a meteor each time. You could try smashing some more... –  Tom Wijsman Jun 2 '11 at 12:14
    
@Tom — I don't think I'm prepared for an Eater of Worlds just yet. Smashing just one orb seems to have earned me the enmity of the Eye of Cthulhu, who now shows up every few nights to kill me. :-D –  Ben Blank Jun 2 '11 at 15:21
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The Eye of Cthulhu keeps spawning until you kill it (nightly). And no the platforms do not allow meteor rock to go through them- this just happened to me with a floating islands bridge up- i got almost no meteor rock. 9 blocks total.

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