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American Meteorite Survey

Meteorite Identification Page


Meteorite: "A mass of matter too small to be regarded as a minor planet, traveling in space as an unattached unit, traversing the atmosphere, or having landed on the earth, or some other planet, and still retaining its identity." (Dr. H. H. Nininger 1933)

Because the earth's crust is rich in iron oxides and iron minerals, meteorite identification is a daunting task for the layman, and even the professional geologist. For over twenty years the American Meteorite Survey has endeavored to find, catalog and distribute meteorites to institutions and collectors. We invite the submission of suspected meteorite samples for identification and appraisal. But in this task very few samples submitted turn out to be meteoric. The average is about one in a thousand. The purpose of this page is to present information that will better aid the reader to recognize meteorites.


SO you think that you may have found a meteorite?


But how can you be sure?


Does your suspected space rock fit the following criteria?