Welcome to the Institute of Meteoritics

About the Institute

The Institute of Meteoritics (IOM) is a premier research institution for study of early solar system and planetary evolution. Founded in 1944, the IOM was one of the first institutions in the world devoted to the study of meteorites. Research in the IOM focuses on a wide variety of extraterrestrial materials and takes advantage of state-of-the-art laboratory facilities housed within IOM and the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences. The IOM meteorite collection now totals more than 600 different meteorites, and is an extremely valuable asset for researchers worldwide.

Explore the Site

The links in the top-right corner of each page will take you to the home pages for the University of New Mexico and the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, as well as to a Contact page including maps and directions for visiting the Institute. Use the menu bar at the top of these pages to navigate to the main areas of the site, which include the following.

MetSoc 2017

Dr. Karen Ziegler of the Institute of Meteoritics will be organizing the 80th Annual Meteoritical Society Meeting. The 2017 meeting will be hosted in Santa Fe, NM. Click here to visit the meeting homepage.


Information on the people who make up the Institute:

  • Brief biographical sketches of our Research Staff, with description of research interests and links to recent publications
  • Meteorite Museum and Collection
  • Contact information for our Administrative Staff

Research Areas

Descriptions of areas of active research within the Institute:

  • Microbeam studies of Planetary Materials, including meteorites and Moon rocks
  • Experimental studies at high pressure and high temperature constraining planetary materials formation processes
  • Simulation of martian surface processes using low-temperature geochemical experimentation and theoretical modeling
  • Impact and cratering studies, both on Earth and other terrestrial bodies
  • Participation in current and upcoming robotic exploration missions, especially to Mars and the Moon


Information on the facilities and equipment in the Institute:

  • Electron Microbeam Laboratories, including Electron Probe Microanalyzer and Scanning Electron Microscope
  • Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (SIMS) Laboratory, a.k.a. Ion Mircoprobe
  • Experimental Petrology Laboratories, including High Pressure and High Temperature (ambient pressure) facilities
  • New Mexico Infrared for Astromaterials (New MIRA) laboratory
  • Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) Laboratory (under construction)

Meteorites: Museum and Curation

Institute involvement in the curation and display of meteorite samples:

  • The Meteorite Museum, located on the first floor of Northrop Hall; includes activities for primary and secondary science educators and information on meteorite identification
  • Curation of the Institute of Meteorite Research Collection

History and News Items

Brief history of the Institute and recent newsworthy activities by Institute members.