Introduction to Meteorics

Meteorite types

A piece of the Appley Bridge stone meteorite that fell in Lancashire in 1914 Stones are made from the same elements as terrestrial rocks: Si, O, Fe, Mg, Ca and Al. Like terrestrial rocks, stone meteorites are assemblages of minerals: pyroxene, olivine and plagioclase, but unlike terrestrial rocks, they also contain metal and sulphides.

A slice of the Esquel stony-iron (pallasite sub-division), found in Argentina in 1951 Stony-irons are meteorites with very approximately equal proportions of silicate minerals and iron-nickel metal. Like the Stones, Stony-irons are sub-divided into two big groups, mesosiderites and pallasites, which have very different origins and histories.

A polished and etched slice of the Henbury iron meteorite, found in Australia in 1931 Iron meteorites are dominantly composed of iron metal, generally with between 5 - 20 wt. % nickel. They are sub-divided into many different groups on the basis of trace element chemistry. They can also be sub-divided according to their metallographic texture.