World Map of Meteorite Locations
Meteorites are natural objects that spend most of their life floating through space. When in space they are called meteoroids; when they are observed passing through the Earth's atmosphere, they are called meteors. They only become meteorites once they land on Earth.
They are usually named after the place where they are seen to fall or were found and can weigh anything from a few grams to several tons. Sometimes, meteorites fall as individual stones, but often they fall as part of a "shower" of many separate objects. A meteor that starts off as a single object will often break up in the atmosphere into many separate pieces. If one of these is large enough to survive intact, it produces a crater on impact.
Meteorites come in three types:-
Some meteorites are given a classification suffix code. This is to show the type of meteorite that it is and takes the form of a letter - indicating the component constituents of the meteorite, followed by a number 1-6 indicating the the relative proportions of these constituents, For example:-
Stoney Meteorites containing an Olivine-Bronzite mix have an 'H' suffix, those with Olivine-Hypersthene have an 'L' suffix, those containing Enstatite have an 'E' suffix. Carbonaceous chondrites have the letters 'CV' or CK' followed by a number to show the 'type' of chondrite - compared to known specimens, and the amount of water/organic compounds they contain.
Iron Meteorites are classified with a Roman numeral I, II, or III, IV and a letter A, B, C. These denote their relative proportions of iron and nickel.
Most meteorites found on Earth are Stoney and thousands have been discovered over the centuries all over the world.
The largest known meteorite to date is at Hoba, Namibia - an iron meteorite weighing in at 60 tons.
The map above lists major meteorites and meteorite sites around the world. Click on one of the colour-coded dots for information about that place and the meteorite found there.
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