Glossary of meteoritics
This is a glossary of terms used in meteoritics, the science of meteorites.
- 2 Pallas – an asteroid from the asteroid belt and one of the likely parent bodies of the CR meteorites.
- 4 Vesta – second-largest asteroid in the asteroid belt and likely source of the HED meteorites.
- 221 Eos – an asteroid from the asteroid belt and one of the likely parent bodies of the CO meteorites.
- 289 Nenetta – an asteroid from the asteroid belt and one of the likely parent bodies of the angrites.
- 3103 Eger – an asteroid from the asteroid belt and one of the likely parent bodies of the aubrites.
- 3819 Robinson – an asteroid from the asteroid belt and one of the likely parent bodies of the angrites.
- IA meteorite – an iron meteorite group now part of the IAB group/complex.
- IAB meteorite – an iron meteorite and primitive achondrite of the IAB group/complex.
- IB meteorite – an iron meteorite group now part of the IAB group/complex.
- IC meteorite – an iron meteorite that is part of the IC group.
- Ablation – the process of a meteorite losing mass during the passage through the atmosphere.
- Acapulcoite – a group of primitive achondrites.
- Accretion – the process in which matter of the protoplanetary disk coalesces to form planetesimals.
- Achondrite – a differentiated meteorite (meaning without chondrules).
- Aerolite – an old term for stony meteorites.
- ALH – an abbreviation used for meteorites from Allan Hills.
- Allan Hills – a mountain chain in Antarctica where meteorites are concentrated by ice movements and can be easily spotted in the snow.
- Allan Hills 84001 – is an exotic meteorite from Mars that does not fit into any of the SNC groups and was thought to contain evidence for life on Mars.
- Allende meteorite – is the largest carbonaceous chondrite ever found on Earth.
- Amphoterite – an obsolete classification of chondritic meteorites that are now classified as LL.
- Angrite – a basaltic meteorite.
- Anomalous – meteorites that have properties that are unusual for their group or grouplet.
- ANSMET – the ANtarctic Search for METeorites is scientific program that looks for meteorites in the Transantarctic Mountains.
- Asteroidal achondrite – an achondrite that differentiated on an asteroid or planetesimal (see planetary achondrite)
- Asteroid spectral types – classification of asteroids according to their spectra.
- Ataxite – an iron meteorite that has no visible structures when etched.
- Basaltic achondrite – a grouping of basalt meteorites (HED meteorites + Angrite)
- Brachinite – either a primitive achondrite or an asteroidal achondrite
- C – can refer to carbonaceous chondrite or to an iron meteorite designation (Roman numeral and letter).
- Carbonaceous chondrite
- CAI – an abbreviation of Calcium-aluminium-rich inclusion
- Calcium-aluminium-rich inclusion
- Chondrite – stony meteorites unmodified by melting or differentiation of the parent body
- Chondrule – millimetre-scale round grains found in chondrites
- Clan – meteorites that are not similar enough to form a group, but are also not too different from each other to be put in separate classes.
- Class – two or more groups that have a similar chemistry and oxygen isotope ratios.
- Compositional type – a classification based on overall composition, for example stony, iron, stony-iron (as introduced by Maskelyne). Can also refer to the composition deduced from spectroscopy of asteroids.
- Condensation – the process of chemicals changing from the gaseous to the solid phase during the cooling of the protoplanetary disk.
- Condensation sequence – the sequence of minerals that changes from the gaseous to the solid state while the protoplanetary disk cools.
- Cosmic dust – small interplanetary and interstellar particles that are similar to meteorites (See Micrometeorite).
- Cosmochemistry – the science of the chemistry of the Solar System, which is based in part on the chemistry of meteorites.
- Dar al Gani – a meteorite field in the Libyan Sahara.
- Desert glass – natural glass found in deserts formed from the silica in sand as a result of lightning strikes or meteor impacts.
- Differentiated – a meteorite that has undergone igneous differentiation. (See: achondrite)
- Differentiation – usually the process of a planetesimal forming an iron core and silicate mantle.
- Duo – a grouping of two meteorites that share similar characteristics (see Grouplet).
- E – can refer to enstatite chondrite or to an iron meteorite designation (Roman numeral and letter).
- Eagle Station grouplet – a set of pallasite meteorite specimen that don't fit into any of the defined pallasite groups.
- Electrophonic bolide – a meteoroid which produces a measurable discharge of electromagnetic energy (EMP) during its passage through the atmosphere.
- Enstatite achondrite – a meteorite that is mostly composed of enstatite. Usually part of the aubrite group.
- Enstatite chondrite – a rare form of meteorite thought to comprise only 2% of chondrites.
- Fall – a meteorite that was seen while it fell to Earth and found.
- Find – a meteorite that was found without seeing it fall.
- Fossil meteorite - a meteorite that was buried under layers of sediment before the start of the Quaternary period. Some or all of the original cosmic material has been replaced by diagenetic minerals.:320 (It is, however, not a fossil).
- Fragment – a part of a meteorite that broke during passage through the atmosphere.
- Fragmentation – the process in which a meteorite breaks while falling through the atmosphere.
- Fusion crust – a coating on meteorites that forms during their passage through the atmosphere.
- Group – a collection of more than 5 meteorites sharing similar characteristics.
- Grouplet – a collection of less than 5 meteorites sharing similar characteristics.
- HED – abbreviation for three basaltic achondrite groups howardite, eucrite and diogenite.
- HED meteorite – a clan of basaltic achondrites.
- Hexahedrite – a structural class of iron meteorites having a relatively low nickel content
- Hunter – a person who searches for meteorites.
- Impact breccia – rock composed of fragments of terrestrial, extraterrestrial or mixed origin fused by the energy of impact
- Impactite – informal term for a terrestrial rock resulting from the shocking impact of a meteor.
- Iron–nickel alloy – an alternative expression for meteoric iron.
- Iron meteorite – a meteorite that is mainly composed of meteoric iron.
- Kakangari chondrite – a group of chondrite meteorites.
- Kamacite – a native metal (mineral) found in meteorites.
- Lodranite – member of a small group of primitive achondrites thought to derive from deeper within the same parent body as acapulcoites
- Lunaite – a meteorite that originated from the moon (synonym of Lunar meteorite). Compare Category:Meteorites found on bodies other than Earth.
- Lunar meteorite – a meteorite that originated from the Moon (synonym of Lunaite). Compare Category:Meteorites found on bodies other than Earth.
- Main group pallasite – a pallasite belonging to the main group.
- Main mass – the largest/heaviest piece of a fragmented meteorite, typically found in a strewn field.
- Magmatic – igneous, that is, solidified magma or produced by magma
- Magmatic meteorite
- Magnetic – a characteristic of a meteorite that is attracted to a magnet.
- Martian meteorite – a meteorite that originated from Mars. Compare Category:Meteorites found on bodies other than Earth.
- Maskelynite – a natural glas found in meteorites.
- Matrix – the mineral assemblage surrounding chondrules.
- Mesosiderite – a grouping of stony-iron meteorite that are breccias.
- Meteor – an object passing through Earth's atmosphere emitting light.
- Meteoric iron – a native metal found in meteorites and a mixture of different mineral phases. Compare telluric iron.
- Meteoroid – a natural object in space no larger than 1 meter.
- Meteorite – a rock found on the Earth's surface that did not form on Earth.
- Meteorite Observation and Recovery Program – a scientific program that was centered in Canada.
- Meteoriticist – a scientist working on meteorites.
- Meteoritics – the science of meteorites.
- MORP – abbreviation for Meteorite Observation and Recovery Program.
- Micrometeorite – microscopic meteorites derived from Cosmic dust.
- Nakhlite – a group of Martian meteorites
- Neumann lines (or Neumann bands) – a pattern of fine parallel lines seen in some iron meteorites, thought to be due to impact events on the parent body
- Nonmagmatic meteorite – (deprecated) iron meteorites that were thought to have not formed by igneous processes.
- Northwest Africa – a popular meteorite find location.
- NWA – abbreviation of northwest Africa.
- O – usually refers to ordinary chondrite
- Observed fall – a meteorite that was seen when it fell to Earth.
- Octahedrite – the most common structural class of iron meteorites.
- Ordinary chondrite – a chondrite meteorite, where 'ordinary' means that it is the most common found
- Oriented – e.g. Photo: An oriented specimen of the <name> meteorite.
- PAC – abbreviation for primitive achondrite.
- Panspermia – the hypothesis that life could reach other planets by the means of meteorites and/or comets.
- Parent body
- Petrologic type
- Pitts grouplet – a grouplet of meteorites that is part of the IAB meteorites
- Planetary achondrite – an achondrite that was differentiated on a planet and not a planetesimal or asteroid (See asteroidal achondrite).
- Plessite – a fine grained intergrowth found in meteoric iron consisting of kamacite, taenite and tetrataenite lamella.
- Presolar grains
- Primitive meteorite
- Primitive achondrite – a meteorite that has similarities with achondrites and chondrites.
- Pristine – extent of a meteorite shock stage and weathering.
- Protoplanetary disk – a cicumstellar disk from which all solids in the Solar System formed.
- Pyroxene pallasite grouplet
- QUE – abbreviation for Queen Alexandra Range.
- Queen Alexandra Range – a mountain range in eastern Antarctica where many meteorites are found.
- Regmaglypts – thumb print sized indentations in the surface of larger meteorites formed by ablation as the meteorite passes through a planet's atmosphere, probably caused by vortices of hot gas.
- Refractory elements – chemical elements that have high boiling and condensation temperatures.
- Rose-Tschermak-Brezina classification – a classification developed by Gustav Rose, Gustav Tschermak and Aristides Brezina.
- Rumuruti chondrite – a group of chondrites.
- Shock stage
- Shock metamorphism
- Siderite – the old term for iron meteorite.
- Siderolite – the old term for stony-iron meteorites.
- SNC – abbreviation for shergottite, nakhlite and chassignite, the three martian meteorites.
- Solar nebula – a synonym of the protoplanetary disk.
- Spectral class –
- Stony meteorite – a meteorite composed mostly of silicates.
- Stony-iron meteorite – a meteorite that is a mixture of meteoric iron and silicates.
- Strewn field – a field of fragments from one meteorite fall.
- Structural class – a subdivision of iron meteorites in ataxites, hexahedrites and octahedrites.
- Taenite – a native metal (mineral) found in meteorites.
- Total known weight (TKW) – total known mass of a meteorite.
- Trio – a grouping of three meteorites that share similar characteristics (see Grouplet).
- Tunguska event – an air burst of a meteorite that caused major destruction.
- Type – subdivision of meteorites. Loosely defined. Usually refers to chondrite, achondrite and sometimes primitive achondrite.
- Udei Station grouplet – a grouplet of meteorites that is part of the IAB meteorites.
- Ungrouped – a meteorite that has not been assigned to a group or grouplet.
- Vesta – second largest asteroid in the asteroid belt and likely source of the HED meteorites.
- Volatile elements – are chemical elements that have low boiling and condensation temperatures.
- Weathering – the terrestrial alteration of a meteorite.
- Widmanstätten pattern – a fine interleaving of kamacite and taenite bands/ribbons found in octahedrite irons and some pallasites.
- Weston meteorite – The Weston meteorite is a meteorite which fell to earth above the town of Weston, Connecticut on December 14, 1807.
- YA – abbreviation for Yamato Mountains.
- Yamato Mountains – a group of mountains in Antarctica where many meteorites are found.
- M. K. Weisberg; T. J. McCoy, A. N. Krot (2006). "Systematics and Evaluation of Meteorite Classification". In D. S. Lauretta; H. Y. McSween, Jr. Meteorites and the early solar system II (PDF). Tucson: University of Arizona Press. pp. 19–52, 942. ISBN 978-0816525621. Retrieved 15 December 2012.
- Schmitz, B.; Tassinari, M. (2001), "Fossil Meteorites", in Peucker-Ehrenbrink, B. and Schmitz, B. (editors), Accretion of Extraterrestrial Matter Throughout Earth’s History, New York: Springer, pp. 319–331, ISBN 978-1-4613-4668-5
- Agee, C. B.; N.V. Wilson; F.M. McCubbin; Z.D. Sharp; K. Ziegler (2012). "Basaltic Breccia NWA 7034: New ungrouped planetary Achondrite" (PDF). 43rd Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. Retrieved 4 January 2013.
- Goldstein, J. I.; Michael, J. R. (1 April 2006). "The formation of plessite in meteoritic metal". Meteoritics & Planetary Science. 41 (4): 553–570. doi:10.1111/j.1945-5100.2006.tb00482.x.
- "regmaglypts". METEORITE OR METEORWRONG?. Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Washington University in St. Louis. Retrieved 15 January 2013.
- "The Weston Meteorite (Yale Peabody Museum)".