MetBase is the leading meteorite information database and bibliography of meteorites and planetary sciences. The software has been tailored to the needs of both meteorite collection curators and researchers working in the field of meteoritics, impact cratering or planetary geology/space science.

MetBase provides the information scientists need to enhance their research and education in meteoritics and related disciplines. Easy access to meteorite basic information, analysis data, repositories, images and literature on meteoritics and planetary sciences makes the software most useful as a daily tool.

 MetBase holds the world's largest compilation of meteorite data on its own user-friendly program platform.

MetBase's bibliography of meteoritics and planetary sciences is the most comprehensive compilation with presently more than 90,000 keyword- and object-indexed references to articles, abstracts, books, catalogues, and special publications on meteorites, lunar rocks,meteors, impact cratering, tektites, martian geology, asteroids, exobiology and origin of the solar system, published between 1492 and today.

More than 500,000 data of meteorite analyses are stored in MetBase, such as:

Bulk chemical compositions

This database mainly contains results of standard wet chemical analyses of stony meteorites and silicate portions of stony-iron and iron meteorites. The elemental concentrations are calculated as oxide compounds. There are currently almost 2000 analyses of about 1500 meteorites stored in this database.

Major/minor/trace elements in iron meteorites

Mostly the results of instrumental neutron activation analyses (INAA) of iron meteorites are stored in this database. The element abundances in iron meteorites are important for a proper classification of a meteorite into taxonomic groups, relating to common parent bodies. The following (mainly siderophile) elements are considered: Ni, Ga, Ge, Ir, Co, Cr, Cu, As, Sb, W, Re, Pt, Os, Pd, Rh, Ru, Au, P.

Mineral chemistry

MetBase presents chemical analysis data of olivine, pyroxene, plagioclase and other silicate minerals for the selected meteorite. Olivine Fa, Pyroxene Fs are displayed as mean value, standard deviation (1 sigma value), range (min - max value), and PMD (percentage mean deviation) value in mole-% when available.The total iron content of the bulk material is shown in weight-%. Other Analysis Data includes plagioclase, pyroxene or kamacite composition

Cosmogenic radionuclides

MetBase contains a large collection of radionuclide data for more than 2000 meteorites derived from hundreds of publications on this subject, including the large compilation by K.Nishiizumi (1987) Nucl. Tracks Radiat. Meas. 13, 209-273. Considered in MetBase are the radionuclides 10Be, 14C, 26Al, 36Cl, 41Ca and 53Mn, the cosmogenic noble gas 21Ne, as well as terrestrial ages calculated from the 14C or 36Cl data.

Light stable isotopes

The background database to this information window contains oxygen, carbon, nitrogen, and hydrogen isotopic compositions (also known as light stable isotopes) of bulk samples, compounds (e.g., clasts, chondrules and CAIs) and separates (mineral grains, density- and grain-size fractions fractions) of stones, stony-irons and iron meteorites. The typical delta values are displayed as calculated and published. Most of C, N, and H isotope measurements have been done by the stepped-combustion or stepped-pyrolysis method.

Noble gas isotopes

Noble gas abundances in meteorite are intensively studied in order to reveal the origin and thermal and cosmic-ray exposure history of a meteorite.The noble gas isotope abundances and ratios stored in MetBase are: Helium: 3He, 4He; Neon: 20Ne, 21Ne, 22Ne; Argon: 36Ar, 38Ar, 40Ar; Isotope ratios: 4He/3He, 3He/21Ne, 3He/38Ar, 20Ne/22Ne, 22Ne/21Ne, 36Ar/38Ar. The noble gas data compilation was kindly provided by Prof. Dr. Ludolf Schultz, formerly Max-Planck-Institut für Chemie, Mainz, Germany.

TL data

The natural TL intensity level is given in krad of light emitted from the sample at a temperature of 250°C.The induced TL properties of a meteorite sample are characterized by three significant features of the glow curve, the TL sensitivity, normalized to a known standard (Dhajala for unequilibrated meteorites, Kernouve for equilibrated meteorites), the temperature where the TL maximum occurs (peak temperature) and the FWHM (full-width-at-half-mean) value of the peak curve.

Porosities and densities

Physical density and porosity data for stony and stony-iron meteorites are compiled in a table: grain density, bulk density, measured porosity, model porosity and average porosity. The porosity and density data were kindly provided by Dr. Guy Consolmagno of Vatican Observatory.

There are currently more than 2000 images of about 1750 different meteorites in the image library. The images include: main masses, field photos of hot and cold desert meteorites at its place of find, type specimens, metallographically prepared (etched) iron meteorites and thin sections in transmitting polarized light.

Meteorite section

Meteorite thin section under polarized light (Bath ordinary chondrite, courtesy A.Bischoff, Univ. of Münster)

Meteorite specimen

Meteorite field picture (DaG 400 lunar meteorite at place of find)

Meteorite specimen

Meteorite type specimen (Dhofar 182 - oriented eucrite)

The repository information is derived from more than 700 collection inventory lists stored in MetBase, totalling about 71,500 specimen weight data and 22,000 thin sections. A list of repositories holding material of the pre-selected meteorite is displayed. Just the weight sum of all individual specimens in a repository is given. The remark "main mass" is added if the repository holds more than 50% of the total known weight of the meteorite.Prepared Sections of the meteorite are listed separately from the material information.

The type of section is mentioned in brackets:

  • PS: Polished section or mount (mainly in case of iron meteorites)
  • TS: Thin section (covered thin section)
  • PTS: Polished thin section (uncovered)

Repository Information of CANYON DIABLO meteorite:

1812kg: Chicago, Field Mus. Nat. Hist. [incl. 460kg mass]

1675kg: Washington, Natl. Mus. Nat. Hist. [incl. 452kg mass]

850kg: Tempe, Arizona State Univ. [and 1000kg oxide]

639kg: Meteor Crater, AZ, Barringer Meteorite Company [single mass]

602kg: New York, Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist. [incl. 493kg mass]

500kg: Denver, Colorado Mus. Nat. Hist. [5 masses, approx. weight]

485kg: Christchurch, N.Z., Canterbury Mus.

447kg: Los Angeles, Univ. of Calif.

410kg: Vienna, Naturhist. Mus. [incl. 174kg mass]

381kg: New Haven, Yale Univ., Peabody Mus. [incl. 375kg mass]

330kg: Paris, Mus. d'Hist. Nat.

306kg: Budapest, Nat. Mus. [incl. 287kg mass]

283kg: Albuquerque, Fred Harvey Indian Bldg.


Albuquerque, Univ. of New Mexico (PS)

Bern, Naturhist. Mus. (PS)

Cambridge, Univ. (PS)

Canberra, Austr. Nat. Univ. (PS)

Bremen, Koblitz Colln. (PS)

Heidelberg, Max-Planck-Inst. (PS)

London, Nat. Hist. Mus. (PS)

Washington, Natl. Mus. Nat. Hist. (PS)

Prepared sections

With more than 89,000 entries, the Bibliography of MetBase contains the most comprehensive collection of keyword-indexed references to literature on meteoritics and related subjects published between 1492 and today. The bibliography comprises all references earlier published in the important H.Brown (1) and Sablina (2) bibliographies. Important periodicals and conference volumes, such as LPSC (abstracts and proceedings), Meteoritics & Planet. Sci. (MAPS), Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta (GCA), Earth Planetary Science Letters, Proceedings of NIPR Symposiums on Antarctic Meteorites or Journal of Geophysical Research, are completely considered in this bibliography.

Publications types considered in the bibliography are:

  • Books
  • Journal Articles
  • Conference Abstracts
  • Collection Catalogs
  • Special Publications / Monographs
  • Private Prints
  • Chapters in Books and Chronicle Notes
  • Electronic Media (CD-ROMs, DVDs, Video)
  • Notes, Comments and Book Reviews


 How should I cite Metbase?

MetBase: Meteorite Information Database,, 1994-2017, GeoPlatform UG, Germany.