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This is a glossary of terms used in meteoritics, the science 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 Some or all of the original cosmic material has been replaced by diagenetic minerals.[2]:320 (It is, however, not a fossil).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.[1]
  • Grouplet – a collection of less than 5 meteorites sharing similar characteristics.[1]



  • 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.






  • 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
  • Orientede.g. Photo: An oriented specimen of the <name> meteorite.




Regmaglypts on Sikhote Alin








  • YA – abbreviation for Yamato Mountains.
  • Yamato Mountains – a group of mountains in Antarctica where many meteorites are found.



  1. ^ a b c d e M. K. Weisberg; T. J. McCoy, A. N. Krot (2006). "Systematics and Evaluation of Meteorite Classification" (PDF). In D. S. Lauretta; H. Y. McSween, Jr. (eds.). Meteorites and the early solar system II. Tucson: University of Arizona Press. pp. 19–52, 942. ISBN 978-0816525621. Retrieved 15 December 2012.
  2. ^ Schmitz, B.; Tassinari, M. (2001), "Fossil Meteorites", in Peucker-Ehrenbrink, B. and Schmitz, B. (editors) (eds.), Accretion of Extraterrestrial Matter Throughout Earth's History, New York: Springer, pp. 319–331, doi:10.1007/978-1-4419-8694-8_17, ISBN 978-1-4613-4668-5CS1 maint: uses editors parameter (link)
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ Goldstein, J. I.; Michael, J. R. (1 April 2006). "The formation of plessite in meteoritic metal". Meteoritics & Planetary Science. 41 (4): 553–570. Bibcode:2006M&PS...41..553G. doi:10.1111/j.1945-5100.2006.tb00482.x.
  5. ^ "regmaglypts". METEORITE OR METEORWRONG?. Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Washington University in St. Louis. Retrieved 15 January 2013.
  6. ^ "The Weston Meteorite (Yale Peabody Museum)".