Modern meteorite classification was worked out in the 1860s. It is based on Gustav Rose's and Nevil Story Maskelyne's classifications. Gustav Rose worked on the meteorite collection of the Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin and Nevil Story Maskelyne on the collection of the British Museum, London. Rose was the first to make different categories for meteorites with chondrules (chondrites) and without chondrules (nonchondrites). Maskelyne differentiated siderites (now iron meteorites), siderolites (now Stony Iron Meteorites) and aerolites (now Stony Meteorite).
In 1872 Gustav Tschermak published his first meteorite classification based on Gustav Rose's catalog from 1864:
In 1883 Gustav Tschermak modified Gustav Rose's classification again.
Further modifications were made by Aristides Brezina.
The first chemical classification was published by Oliver Cummings Farrington 1907.
George Thurland Prior further improved the classification based on mineralogical and chemical data, introducing the terms mesosiderite, lodranite and enstatite chondrite. In 1923 he published a catalogue of the meteorites in the Natural History Museum (London). He describes his classification as based on Gustav Tschermak and Aristides Brezina with modifications by himself. His main subdivisions were:
- Meteoric Irons or Siderites
- Meteoric Stony-irons or Siderolites
- Meteoric Stones or Aerolites.
He subdivides the "Meteoric Stones" into those that have chondrules (Chondritic Meteoric Stones or Chondrites) and those that don't (Non-chondritic Meteoric Stones or Achondrites). The iron meteorites are subdivided according to their structures as ataxites, hexahedrites and octahedrites. A complete overview of his classification is given in the box below:
Brian Harold Mason published a further revision in the 1960s.
Read more about this topic: Meteorite Types
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