The name meteorite is greek and means: that which originates in the atmosphere. The section Meteoritenforschung studies mineralogical and chemical properties of meteorites.
Mechanisms and time constraints on the formation of solid matter in our solar system and the formation of planets are in the center of our research interest. With the exception of lunar and martian meteorites, meteorites are fragments of asteroides. Collisions among objects in the asteroid belt and impacts on Moon and Mars eject rock fragments that can achieve Earth-crossing orbits.
Three major groups of meteorites are
- stone meteorites
- iron meteorites
- stony iron meteorites.