a complete meteorite which may or may not be missing crust in places.
Windowed Individual -
an Individual with a small cut in the surface making a window into the interior.
Half Individual / Half Stone -
is one (1) half of an Individual.
Sliced Individual / Cut Individual -
an Individual which has been sliced and has all pieces present
often a rough and broken part of a meteorite. It may be many kilograms in size down to just a few milligrams.
- a complete and full slice of an Individual.
Half Slice - half of a Complete Slice.
/ End Slice
- the end cut or end slice of an Individual.
There is only one (1) cut surface while the remainder is the meteorite's natural surface.
Half Endcut / Quarter Cut -
half of an end cut. There are two (2) (usually perpendicular) cut surfaces while the remainder is the meteorite's natural surface.
Broken Individual -
a complete meteorite with some pieces broken off. Not as
complete as an Individual but much more complete than a
fragment. Stony meteorites hitting hard surfaces will often be
Main Mass -
a loosely used term for the largest piece
from a particular fall. For example, a fall of numerous
stones weighing 100kg is found with the largest individual
weighing 70kg. This would be the obvious Main Mass. This does not
always work though which is the case for examples such as Veevers and
Monturaqui. These are both iron meteorites with huge
impact craters but only a few kilograms made up of hundreds of fragments
have been discovered from each. Obviously even the largest
specimen found from each could not be termed the Main Mass. Rather a more appropriate term would be 'Largest Known Mass',
'Largest Known Fragment' or 'Largest Known Specimen'.
Main Mass is also used to describe the largest remaining piece of a particular meteorite
after it has been sliced.
Complete Mass -
an Individual which has not been sliced and is the only known specimen belonging to a particular meteorite fall or find.
Thin Section -
an extremely thin slice of meteorite
mounted on a glass slide for microscopic study. It is so thin
that light is able to pass through the meteorite specimen.
Cut Fragment -
a fragment with one (1) or two (2) cut faces.
a specimen cut into a cube. Six (6) equal sized cut surfaces.
a specimen cut into a sphere.
a specimen cut into an egg shape.
a specimen cut into a wedge or 'pie' shape.
a specimen usually
with five (5) or six (6) cut faces in the rough shape of a cube
or rectangle. Often larger than approximately 50 grams.
a sliced specimen with numerous cut surfaces and not fitting any
previous descriptions. Often smaller than approximately 50
Cutting Dust / Cutting Material -
is the remaining dust or powder after a meteorite has been sliced. Some pieces may range up to
a tiny fragment size.
tiny iron/nickel 'shot' from large iron
meteorite impacts. During these large impacts the vast majority
of the impacting body vaporizes. This creates a cloud of hot
iron vapour and as the cloud cools, the iron condenses and falls
as iron rain.
piece of iron meteorite which has been torn apart (or off a
larger specimen) from a detonation during passage through the
atmosphere or large impact with the ground.
like a fragment but is the product of complete alteration of iron meteorites to iron oxides by weathering on Earth.
is a inclusion from within a meteorite which is different to the surrounding material. These are usually from
Iron and Stony/Iron meteorites and can include minerals such as Troilite (Iron Sulphide), Graphite and Silicate (stony material).