Antarctic Rules


Procedure for Naming Antarctic Meteorites

revised May, 1986

1. Numerous meteorites have been collected from restricted areas of the Antarctic continent, and large numbers of new recoveries can be anticipated in the future. Since few locality names are available, and the numbers involved exceed the letters in the alphabet, the normal procedure cannot be applied. The Committee on Meteorite Nomenclature has adopted the following procedure:

2. The name of an Antarctic meteorite shall consist of: a geographical locality term; a two digit number specifying the Austral summer season of collection, i.e. the December year of the expedition; a number of two or more digits specific to the individual specimen. This number will continue to refer to the specimen regardless of subsequent pairings or possible pairings. Before publication these numbers shall be approved by the Meteorite Nomenclature Committee. Parts b) and c) of the name shall not be separated by spaces or punctuation marks, but a space should be left after part a).

3. Where pairings have been established, and it is required for statistical or other purposed to quote names for Antarctic meteorites as distinct from individual specimens, the lowest specimen number, the most widely studied mass number or the largest mass number may be used for the collective meteorite name. Once approved and accepted by the Committee this set name shall not be changed.

4. Names previously applied to existing expedition collections shall not be modified to conform exactly to the above procedure.

5. The name of an Antarctic meteorite consists of the complete geographical name together with the numerical code, e.g. Allan Hills 82505 or Yamato 75031.


Added August, 2006

6. Meteorites collected by ANSMET teams and their collaborators between 1976 and 1981 officially have the letter A before their number, e.g., Allan Hills A77307, abbreviated ALHA77307. However, the use of this letter A is henceforth to be considered optional. Thus, Allan Hills 77307, abbreviated ALH 77307, is equally correct and equivalent to the official name and abbreviation.