Meteoritics & Planetary Science is an international monthly journal of the Meteoritical Society—a scholarly organization promoting research and education in planetary science. Topics include the origin and history of the solar system, planets and natural satellites, interplanetary dust and interstellar medium, lunar samples, meteors and meteorites, asteroids, comets, craters, and tektites.

Meteoritics & Planetary Science was first published in 1935 under the title Contributions of the Society for Research on Meteorites. In 1947, the publication became known as Contributions of the Meteoritical Society and continued through 1951. From 1953 to 1995, the publication was known as Meteoritics, and in 1996, the journal's name was changed to Meteoritics & Planetary Science or MAPS. The journal was not published in 1952 and from 1957 to 1964.

This archive provides access to Meteoritics & Planetary Science Volumes 37-44 (2002-2009).

Visit Wiley Online Library for new and retrospective Meteoritics & Planetary Science content (1935-present).

ISSN: 1086-9379


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Recent Submissions

  • From the Editors: Logos and special publications for the Society

    Sears, Derek (The Meteoritical Society, 2002-12-01)
  • A "mesosiderite" rock from northern Siberia, Russia: Not a meteorite

    Treiman, A. H.; Lindstrom, D. J.; Schwandt, C. S.; Franchi, I. A.; Morgan, M. L. (The Meteoritical Society, 2002-12-01)
    A possible mesosiderite meteorite was found in the area of the Putorana Plateau, Noril'sk district, Siberia, Russia. Although this rock resembles a mesosiderite in its hand-sample aspect and in having Ni-bearing iron metal, it is not a meteorite. This inference is based on the lack of a fusion crust, the lack of cosmogenic nuclides, oxygen with terrestrial isotope ratios, and several mineral chemical criteria. Most likely, the rock is from the iron-metal-bearing basalts of the Siberian Trap basalt sequence, which are mined for their base and platinum-group metals. Mesosiderite imposters like this may be recognized by (1) the presence of Cu metal in hand sample or as microscopic blebs in the low-Ni metal (kamacite), (2) the absence ofhigh-Ni metal (taenite), and (3) the presence of iron carbide (cohenite) enclosing the kamacite. Even if these macroscopic tests are inconclusive, isotopic and mineral chemical tests will also distinguish rocks like this from mesosiderites.
  • The Worden meteorite: A new ordinary chondrite fall from Michigan, USA

    Vebel, M. A.; Matty, D. J.; Wacker, J. F.; Linke, Matt P. (The Meteoritical Society, 2002-12-01)
    An ordinary chondrite fall in southeast Michigan, USA (near the crossroads hamlet of Worden in northeast Washtenaw County) penetrated the garage roof of a private home on 1997 September 1. The Worden chondrite comprises silicate matrix, mineral fragments, chondrules, chondrule fragments, and opaque primary phases. Electron microprobe analyses (olivine, Fa23.9; orthopyroxene, FS20.1, En78.8, W01) indicate diagnostic L-chondrite silicate mineral compositions. Recognizable chondrules and chondrule fragments constitute up to 42 vol%. Chondrule boundaries are readily discernable (especially where chondrules have rims of opaque material) but not sharp, and discrete plagioclase crystals are visible in the devitrified mesostasis of barred olivine chondrules; together, these characteristics suggest petrologic type S. The spatially averaged ensemble of shockrelated features (optical extinction of olivine grains, minor localized shock melt) suggests assignment of a shock stage of S3. The 26 Al and 22Na activities are typical for an L chondrite. Worden fell near the most recent solar minimum in 1997, and the 22Na production rate should have been at a level approaching the maximum levels due to solar modulation of the galactic cosmic-ray flux. The low value for the Worden 22Na activity relative to those observed in chondrite falls associated with the 1969 solar maximum and 1976 solar minimum suggests a relatively small preatmospheric size. The 60Co activity confirms the indication of a small body. The 56Co activity was essentially zero, indicating that none of the recovered meteorite contained material exposed to solar cosmic rays. The Worden chondrite is the fourth documented fall in Michigan, and the fourth stony meteorite recovered in Michigan; all other Michigan meteorites are finds, not observed falls, and are iron meteorites. All Michigan falls to date are ordinary chondrites. The three falls prior to Worden were Allegan (HS) fell 1899; Rose City (HS, brecciated, black (dark matrix)) fell 1921 ; and Coleman (L6, veined (shocked); Osborn et aI., 1997) fell 1994. Worden has a much lighter matrix than Rose City, and is less extensively thermally and shock metamorphosed than either Rose City (StOffler et aI., 1991) or Coleman.
  • Meteoritical Society Business

    The Meteoritical Society, 2002-12-01
  • The meteorite collection of the Civico Planetario and the Museo Civico di Storia Naturale in Milan, Italy

    Folco, Luigi; Peri, Fabio; Pezzotta, Federico (The Meteoritical Society, 2002-12-01)
    The historical meteorite collection of Milan's Civico Planetario and Museo di Storia Naturale is presented in this catalogue. Started in 1838, the collection contains to date (March 2002) 231 samples of 77 individual falls, representing 118.935 kg (i.e., the total weight is 118 kg and 935 g) of extraterrestrial material, including 5 carbonaceous chondrites, 38 ordinary chondrites, 3 achondrites, 7 stony-iron meteorites and 24 iron meteorites.
  • The meteorite collection of the National Museum of Natural Sciences, Madrid, Spain: An updated catalog

    Muñoz-Espadas, M. J.; Martínez-Frías, J.; Lunar, R.; Sánchez, B.; Sánchez, J. (The Meteoritical Society, 2002-12-01)
    A catalog of the meteorite collection hosted by the National Museum of Natural Sciences of Madrid is presented. It includes 88 stony meteorites, 56 iron meteorites, and 13 stony-iron meteorites, as well as 14 tektites.
  • Oral histories in meteoritics and planetary science: VIII. Friedrich Begemann

    Marvin, Ursula B. (The Meteoritical Society, 2002-12-01)
    In this interview, taped in 2001 during The Meteoritical Society meeting in Rome, Friedrich Begemann recalls that after he earned his doctorate in physics under the direction of Professor Friedrich G. Houtermans, first in Göttingen and then in Bern, Switzerland, he began his career as what he calls a low-level gas counting man, specializing in tritium (3H). In 1954 he accepted an invitation from Professor Willard F. Libby to run his gas-counting laboratory at the University of Chicago. Begemann spent 3 years there during which he traced the distribution in the world's atmosphere and waters of tritium from two sources, natural cosmic radiation and the detonation of the first thermonuclear device. During his time at Chicago he was drawn into Harold C. Urey's group of scientists studying meteorites. Begemann found that he could measure tritium in meteorites, and by coupling his values with those of 3He, he and his collaborators initiated a new branch of meteoritics by determining the first cosmic-ray exposure age of a meteorite--Norton County, which fell in 1947. In 1957, Begemann joined the group led by Friedrich A. Paneth at the Max-Planck-Institute für Chemie at Mainz, Germany, where he continued his studies of gas isotopes for the remainder of his career. His research led to the discovery of primitive noble gases in the diamond-graphite aggregates in ureilites, where their presence in presumably deep-seated igneous rocks still remains to be explained. With the advent of the Apollo missions, Begemann extended his studies to the lunar rocks and soils in an effort to learn as much as possible about the interaction of solids with the space environment. He also became heavily involved in measuring the s-process isotope abundance patterns of medium-heavy chemical elements as they occur in interstellar grains. In 1995 at the meeting in Washington, D.C., The Meteoritical Society presented Friedrich Begemann with the Leonard Medal for his contributions to our understanding of the radiation encountered by bodies as they orbit through space.
  • Oral histories in meteoritics and planetary science: IX. Heinrich Wänke

    Marvin, Ursula B. (The Meteoritical Society, 2002-12-01)
    In this interview, Heinrich Wänke, a nuclear physicist, describes how he first encountered meteorite studies in 1953 when, after finishing his Ph.D. thesis in Vienna, he joined the research group of Professor Friedrich Paneth at the University of Durham, England. There, he worked on problems relating to uranium-helium ages of iron meteorites. A year later, Wänke moved with Paneth to the Max-Planck-Institut für Chemie at Mainz in Germany. He continued meteorite research but also conducted experiments to measure noble gases in the stratosphere, a project that brought him to America in 1956 where he first met Professor Harold C. Urey, with whom he formed a lasting friendship. After Paneth's early death in 1958, Wänke remained at the Institute in Mainz and pursued research on topics such as the isotopic compositions of cosmogenic noble gases in iron meteorites and the abundances of primordial rare gases implanted by solar wind particles in brecciated stony meteorites. In 1969, Wänke was appointed to fill Paneth's position as a director as the Max-Planck-Institut für Chemie just in time for him to lead a wide spectrum of research projects on the lunar rocks and soils. Froom the geochemical evidence these studies provided, he theorized on the formation of the Moon by the giant impact hypothesis, and proposed a two-component model for the cosmic composition of the Earth's mantle. His group also investigated the isotopic chemistry of martian meteorites and its hearing on the origin and evolution of Mars, which he viewed as a cored planet that underwent early differentiation without subsequent convective homogenization. In 1980, the Meteoritical Society awarded the Leonard Medal to Heinrich Wänke for his numerous contribution of fundamental importance to meteoritics and planetary science.
  • Oral histories in meteoritics and planetary science: VII. Alastair G. W. Cameron

    Marvin, Ursula B. (The Meteoritical Society, 2002-12-01)
    In this interview, Alastair Cameron reecounts how he started his career as a nuclear physicist but taught himself astrophysics after he read a paper that required an astrophysical explanation for the presence of technetium in red giant stars. Subsequently, as new analytical data became available, he periodically updated the Suess-Urey tables of elemental abundances to enhance the value of the systematic approach they provided to understanding the individual processes of nucleosysthesis. Since many of these new data were based on analyses of carbonaceous chondrites, he taught himself meteoritics. In recent decades, Cameron has focused his research interests on problems such as the provenance of certain components of meteorites (calcium-aluminum-rich inclusions, FUN (fractionated and unknown nuclear) anomalous inclusions, amoeboid olivine aggregates, and presolar grains) that he believes to have formed in the supernova envelope prior to formation of the solar nebula, the origin of chondrules in the primitive solar nebula, and the origins of the solar system and of the Earth-Moon system. To investigate these subjects he has pioneered the use of advanced computer technology to make lengthy calculations of nucleosysthesis in complicated networks. After teaching courses and advising graduate students at several research institutes and colleges, Cameron served as a Professor of Astronomy at Harvard University from 1973 to 1997 when he was appoinetd to the Donald H. Menzel Research Professorship of Astrophysics. In 1994, The Meteoritical Society honored him with the Leonard Medal at its meeting in Prague, the Czech Republic.
  • Olivine-phyric martian basalts: A new type of shergottite

    Goodrich, Cyrena Anne (The Meteoritical Society, 2002-12-01)
  • The law of ownership and control of meteorites

    Schmitt, Douglas G. (The Meteoritical Society, 2002-12-01)
    Increased commerce in meteorites raises questions about their ownership and control. This article reviews the law in several countries, international law, and considers the legal and ethical issues facing curators wanting to bring finds to the research community and not divert them to a black market. A survey was made of scientists involved in meteorite acquisition in over 20 countries to determine how well various systems work. Meteorite ownership law is non-uniform. English Common Law, from which the law in former British colonies including the United States evolved, provides that meteorites are the landowner's property; buried meteorites might be part of the mineral rights. Find reporting that is not mandatory. Most Western European countries, and former colonies, have civil codes providing that meteorites are owned by the landowner. In many countries legislation about archaeological treasures modifies earlier meteorite law. The UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property provides for tracking and retrieving from reciprocating states, cultural property including meteorites. The Antarctic Treaty does not deal with samples exported. In July 2001 the Antarctic Treaty Consultative parties adopted a resolution to discourage non-scientific collection. Curators should exercise caution if acquiring specimens of questionable legal ownership. Governments should be urged to enact laws to (1) discourage non-scientific collection in pristine areas; (2) encourage collection in populated areas by reasonable incentives to finders, with mandatory find reporting; (3) create efficient export permitting systems allowing exchange of research samples; and (4) retrieve illegally exported meteorites under the UNESCO Cultural Property Convention.
  • One meteorite less from Vietnam

    Rochette, P. (The Meteoritical Society, 2002-12-01)
    Among the four declared meteorites from Vietnam, the two most recent ones--Phuoc-Binh (1941) and Fuc Bin (1971)--appear to be the same, following a visit to the Hanoi museum and an analysis of the literature. Phuoc-Binh (L5) with a fall date of 1941 July 18 should be the correct entry.
  • Oral histories in meteoritics and planetary science: V. Brian Mason

    Marvin, Ursula B. (The Meteoritical Society, 2002-12-01)
    In this interview, Brian Mason describes the sudden awakening of his interest in meteorites during his student days at Canterbury College in New Zealand when he read a paper on the cosmic abundance of the elements by Victor M. Goldschmidt. Subsequently, he won a scholarship for graduate study abroad and wrote to Goldschmidt asking if he could do a thesis with him in Norway. Shortly after he began his research in Oslo, he fled the city, ahead of the German invasion of Norway, and completed his doctorate in Stockholm with a thesis on the iron-manganese minerals of the Långban Mine. After the war he taught for 3 years at Canterbury College where he gave courses on mineralogy and geology (into which he inserted lectures on geochemistry) and led students in extensive field studies. In 1947, Mason accepted a professorship of mineralogy at Indiana University. While there, he wrote the landmark book, Principles of Geochemistry, which appeared in 1952. The following year he moved to New York City where he served as the Curator of Minerals at the American Museum of Natural History and an adjunct professor at Columbia University. He became fascinated with the museum's meteorite collection and discussed meteorites in his lectures, which inspired some of his outstanding students to enter the field. During a sabbatical year he spent as a Fulbright Professor in Japan, he gave an advanced level seminar on meteorites and based his book, Meteorites, on his lecture notes. Mason developed a rapid method of optically classifying chondritic meteorites that he applied to major collections in many countries, thus enabling curators to replace uninformative labels such as "stone" or "chondrite" with species names, and to recognize which of their meteorites were rare types demanding serious study. In 1965 he moved to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. where he remained for the rest of his career. Early in 1968, he collected specimens from the spectacular fall of the Allende meteorite in Mexico, which proved to be a carbonaceous chondrite containing rare types of inclusions enriched in calcium and aluminum. His analyses showed how these incusions could be divided into groups on the basis of their differing rare earth element patterns. Mason's studies of Allende continued while he investigated lunar samples returned by the Apollo missions and coauthored a book on them. Beginning in the latter 1970s, he applied his rapid classification of stony meteorites to the large numbers of specimens collected each year by U.S. teams on the Antarctic ice sheet. In 1992 he capped his career with a biography of Victor M. Goldschmidt. In recognition of his many fundamental contributions, The Meteoritical Society honored Brian Mason with its Leonard Medal at its meeting in 1972 at the University of Chicago.
  • Oral histories in meteoritics and planetary science: VI. Stuart Ross Taylor

    Marvin, Ursula B. (The Meteoritical Society, 2002-12-01)
    In this interview, Ross Taylor describes how his interest in planetary science was aroused by proofreading Brian Mason's book on geochemistry. Born and raised in New Zealand, Ross majored in chemistry at Canterbury College in Christchurch. While there, he took a course in geology and was strongly tempted to change his major, but he resolved the problem by becoming a geochemist. For his doctoral studies, Ross joined Mason at Indiana University where he learned the basics of trace element analysis on the emission spectrograph. Subsequently, he set up emission spectrographic laboratories and used them to pursue his research at Oxford University and the University of Cape Town. As techniques became more sensitive, he set up a spark-source mass spectrograph at the Australian National University in Canberra. Ross always has retained an interest in terrestrial rocks, but he is most widely known for his investigations of tektites and lunar rocks. He became one of the earliest and strongest advocates of tektites as molten terrestrial sediments sent aloft by high-energy impacts. As a member of the preliminary examination team that analyzed the samples returned by the Apollo missions, Ross gained an intimate knowledge of lunar chemistry and petrology and wrote three books about the Moon. He also has written a book about the chemical evolution of the solar system, a topic on which such rapid progress was made in 10 years that his second edition is practically a different book from the first one. Ross has written Destiny or Chance, a philosophical consideration of the likelihood that as sentient beings we may well be alone in the universe. Ross served as the president of The Meteoritical Society in 1989 and 1990, and at its annual meeting in Dublin, Ireland, in 1998, the Society presented him with its Leonard Medal.