by Robert Verish

66th Annual Meeting of the Meteoritical Society
July 28 - August 1, 2003

The focus of the meteorite community, last month, was on the 66th Annual Meeting of the Meteoritical Society.  And the meeting place, this year, was in Münster (primarily at Institut für Planetologie, Münster Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität, Münster).  Whether you knew about it or not, this Meeting was this summer's “Main Happening” for the worldwide meteorite community.  

 For more details regarding all the different events that transpired, here is a link to the MetSoc 2003, Münster - Home Page:

 This web site also gives you access to all of the Abstracts for all of the presentations that were given at this conference.
Here is a link to the Scientific Program schedule:

 Although everyone has their favorite topics, here is one of the sessions in which I submitted an abstract:

 RIDGECREST - NEW CLASSIFICATION, RECOVERY INFORMATION. R. S. Verish 1 , 1 Meteorite Recovery Lab, P.O. Box 237, Sunland, CA 91040.<>.

Now, with this abstract finally published (a requirement stipulated by the editor of the MetBull before the "New Classification" would be brought before the Committee), the Ridgecrest meteorite can be properly documented in the Meteoritical Bulletin, and in turn, the Catalogue of Meteorites can be revised.

All of the abstracts listed in the Program, as well as the final version of the Meteoritical Bulletin, have been published in the separate “Supplement Volume” to the "July" issue of the Meteoritical Society journal, Meteoritics and Planetary Sciences (MAPS). 

What is the Meteoritics and Planetary Science journal, you may ask?
Meteoritics and Planetary Science (MAPS) is the journal of the Meteoritical Society and one of the leading planetary science journals in the world. MAPS provides a central forum for research in planetary science. The journal is published monthly and is available in hard copy and electronic format. The journal website carries an extensive range of user services.

Click HERE to see the Table of Contents for the Current Issue of MAPS.

Click HERE to see the Abstracts from Forthcoming Issues of MAPS.

Forgive me! You want to know, "What is the Meteoritical Society?"
The Meteoritical Society is a non-profit scholarly organisation founded in 1933 to promote the study of extraterrestrial materials and their history.
The membership of the society boasts 950 scientists and amateur enthusiasts from over 33 countries who are interested in a wide range of planetary science. Members interests include meteorites, cosmic dust, asteroids and comets, natural satellites, planets, impacts, and the origins of the Solar System.
The Meteoritical Society is the organisation that records all known meteorites in its Meteoritical Bulletin. For the time being, the Meteoritical Bulletin will continue to be published in the "Supplement" to the Meteoritics and Planetary Science journal.
The Meteoritical Society is administered by officers and Council members elected from amongst its members. The Council of the Meteoritical Society meets every year at the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston, Texas, during the Conference in March. The minutes of this meeting are published by the Meteoritical Society in its Newsletter.

2003 Newsletter

Minutes of the meeting of the Council of the Meteoritical Society March 16, 2003 at the Lunar and Planetary Institute, Houston, TX

Here is an excerpt from that Newsletter that may be of some interest to "dealers ... collectors, dealers, curators, researchers, and other interested parties in the current system of assigning official names.":

7. Meteoritical Bulletin and Nomenclature Committee
Sara Russell described problems that had arisen with the classification and approval of large numbers of new meteorites from the Sahara. One dealer was reluctant to follow the procedures for new meteorites and was considering not seeking official names. Some dealers were reluctant to supply the 20% or 20 g of a new meteorite to a recognized museum. Others thought that names should be approved faster.
Podosek and Jull discussed what steps may be needed to enforce the embargo on unofficial names in papers and abstracts that appear in GCA and MAPS. In future, meteorite names will be sent to Jeff Grossman, the chair of the Nomenclature Committee, for checking when manuscripts are submitted. Brearley raised the question of the cost and feasibility of classifying large numbers of ordinary chondrites.
Gary Huss discussed reasons why the current system may not be responsive to dealers and offered to convene a meeting at Münster for collectors, dealers, curators, researchers, and other interested parties to discuss the current system of assigning official names. He will invite all concerned.
[It will be held on August 1 at 4 pm.]

On Friday, August 1, 2003 - at 1600 Festsaal, Schlossplatz 5 :

Discussion of the Process for Naming Meteorites
Both the Meteoritical Society Council and the Nomenclature Committee will be holding meetings, such as this one, at the 66th Annual Meeting in Münster, and these very topics will be discussed.
If I can find out what was resolved at this meeting, I will include that outcome in a revised version of this article. So, check back [here] on this article, later.

In the meanwhile, feel free to contact me with your responses.  Or better yet, contact the editors of MAPS and the Meteoritical Bulletin directly with your suggestions. 

For more information, please contact me by email: Bolide*chaser