There are three main groups of meteorite. They differ in the amount of iron-nickel metal they contain.
Each group of meteorites is split into many more classes and types depending on the minerals they contain, their chemistry and their structure.
Most iron meteorites are thought to be the cores of asteroids that melted early in their history. They consist mainly of iron-nickel metal with small amounts of sulphide and carbide minerals.
Stony-iron meteorites consist of almost equal amounts of iron-nickel metal and silicate minerals and are amongst the most beautiful of meteorites.
The majority of meteorite falls are stony meteorites consisting mainly of silicate minerals.