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How to get a meteorite named

About Official Meteorite Names

Anyone having a meteorite without a name may request a name for it. To do so, certain information must be submitted to the Editor of the Meteoritical Bulletin and a small type specimen must be provided to a well-curated institutional collection with a long-term commitment to curation. Submissions may be made at any time and are reviewed continuously throughout the year.

Written descriptions of new meteorites are encouraged, and are mandatory for all falls, new types of meteorites, and meteorites with anomalous characteristics. Descriptions are optional for all other meteorites. In certain cases, the editor may request a written description for a meteorite prior to approval. All written descriptions are subject to editing prior to publication in the Meteoritical Bulletin or the Meteoritical Bulletin database.

How to request Official meteorite names

Information about new meteorites must be submitted using an excel template, which can be downloaded here. In case of difficulties with the download, please contact the Bulletin Editor for assistance. The completed template should be emailed to the Editor, unless alternative submission instructions are provided by the Editor.

Schedule and deadlines for meteorite name approval

The Nomenclature Committee normally needs at least three weeks to process a request. Following approval, information is normally uploaded into the online database within 7-10 days.

If you have a deadline for a publication that refers to a meteorite that has not yet been named, please submit the needed information to the Bulletin as early as possible and inform the Editor of the deadline. The committee will do its best to help you meet your deadline.

For any outstanding issues regarding submissions, please contact the Editor of the Meteoritical Bulletin.

About Dense Collection Areas

Meteorites that are found in parts of the Earth where geographic names are sparse, including hot deserts and Antarctica, are assigned to dense collection areas (DCAs). These meteorites are given names that consist of the name of the DCA plus a number. The DCAs themselves require official approval by NomCom.

How to request creation of a new Dense Collection Areas

Proposals to create new DCAs must include a file in Google Earth format (KML or KMZ) showing the border of the area, a suggested name for the DCA taken from a geographic feature within the area, and the number of meteorites that have been recovered from the area. Such proposals should be submitted by email to the Editor of the Meteoritical Bulletin.

About provisional Meteorite Names

In dense collection areas for which a numbering system is used to name meteorites (e.g., Dar al Gani, Northwest Africa, Dhofar, Roosevelt County, and many others), names may be assigned to newly collected specimens prior to classification. This may only be done by application to the Nomenclature Committee. Names assigned in this way are considered 'provisional,' which means that the information has not been reviewed or approved by the Committee, and therefore the name cannot be used in publications. Some may not even be real meteorites!

Provisional names are included in the Meteoritical Bulletin Database. They are clearly marked as provisional entries and are highlighted in orange. All information associated with these entries, including descriptions, comes from the meteorite collector or dealer who applied to the Committee for the provisional name.

How to request provisional names

If you need to request provisional names for meteorites, please use the following template: Provisional name submission template (Excel file).