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I started a new world solely for the purpose of spawning and mining a meteorite. I smashed a shadow orb and waited through the whole night and one never fell. I've done this twice already and the only reason I wanted to do it on a new world was because if I smash another orb, I'm going to spawn an Eater of Worlds on my other world...

Do I have to wait a set number of days before the meteor will spawn? And if I smash the orb on my first world and the eater kills me, will the meteorite still fall?

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Taken from an answer to this question:

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 801 meteor tiles, 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.

So there is no time requirement - if a meteor has been chosen to spawn, it will spawn in the middle of the next night. It seems you've just gotten unlucky with your meteors.

All credit for the research goes to Tom Wijsman

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Thank you, I think my problem may have been the active player part, after smashing the orb those last few time I had just waited in my spawn for the meteor to hit. Th first two happened to be the same nights as two Blood Moons so I was busy killing zombies the whole night. I tried it again, this time going star hunting and it worked, thanks =) –  Daemon Jun 3 '11 at 18:25
    
@sXeDaemon Glad I could help. Welcome to gaming.SE! –  Dave McClelland Jun 3 '11 at 18:30
    
@sXeDeamon: If you smash an orb during the night, the condition that a meteor needs to be spawned will be changed during the day so you need to wait for the next night. And then it's still a matter of hoping that the meteor is triggered by the 1 in a 50 chance each second, but I bet the random number generator is not fairly distributed lowering the chance even further. As for the active player it just means you are on the server, being in spawn or not makes no difference... –  Tom Wijsman Jun 4 '11 at 12:49
    
I have seen meteors spawn in the ocean. And one of mine spawned not far from it either. –  Zibbobz Oct 15 '13 at 14:13
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There is no set amount of time. Some people have it happen immediately while others have had to wait a few in-game days (3-5) for one to show up. In-fact, while rare, you can get a meteor to show up with out even smashing an orb. (as happened to me on my new map where I have done nothing but built houses).

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