Learn About Meteorites with Dr. Mel Stauffer


Join Dr. Mel Stauffer from the Geological Sciences Department to learn about craters, meteorites, tektites and more. The highlights introduction video gives an overview and then you can go deeper into each topic with the video series. We've added some hands-on activities and extra resources for you to explore too.

Dr. Mel Stauffer


Mel is a professor emeritus who came to the University of Saskatchewan in 1965. He has a successful career as a researcher and has always enjoyed teaching and outreach too. When he was younger, he played right wing with his high-school hockey team and later with the Didsbury Ramblers in Alberta. In one of his summer jobs, he co-discovered a gold deposit that became the Lupine Mine. He has been a meteorite hunter and collector for many years. For more on Mel and the University of Saskatchewan's meteorite collection: Uniquely USask: A priceless treasure trove of shooting stars.

Highlights: an introduction

Evidence for Earth impacts

Is Earth a target? Plus some famous impact craters worldwide, and in Canada and Saskatchewan.

What's the difference between meteroids, meteors, and meteorites?

Tektites: when a meteoroid makes a splash on Earth.

The different kinds of meteorites

What kinds of meteorites are there? We sort them by iron content.

Iron meteorites: the most meteority-looking of meteorites.

Two kinds of stony meteorites: Do you have chondrules or not?

Stony-iron meteorites: Beautiful pallasites and fragmented mesosiderites.

Meteorites from the moon, Mars, and the asteroid Vesta

Did you know that some meteorites that have hit Earth have come from the moon?

Learn about meteorites we've found on Mars as well as meteorites here that came from Mars.

We think these meteorites come from the asteroid Vesta.

When things smash in space, they can form composite meteorites.

Some special meteorites and related topics

Octahedrites and their beautiful metallic patterns.

Olivine is formed here on Earth too. You can find it in lava and beaches.

Did the building blocks of life come from a meteorite?

Wait, what? Some meteorites are older than the solar system?

Activities and resources

Make your own craters in flour and cocoa powder.

A tactile activity for younger kids: make a clay asteroid.

Imagine what it would be like to find a fresh meteorite!

A math activity: meteorite hunting and triangulation.

So you think you found a meteorite?

More about the different kinds of meteorites.

More about tektites created by the splash of impacts.

Did an asteroid impact kill the dinosaurs?


A few small corrections we would like to make:

  • Canyon Diable should be Canyon Diablo (EP04 and EP05). 
  • Sikhote Alin landed in 1947 (EP04 and EP09).
  • The Hoba Meteorite in Namibia is the largest known at 66 tons, not 100 tons (EP02).
  • CIA should CAI for calcium aluminum inclusions (EP15).