Rather, they are identified by an abbreviated name of some local landmark plus a number that identifies the year of recovery and the specific sample.
For example, the meteorite ALHA81005 was found in the Allan Hills region in 1981 and is the fifth sample recovered.
It has become increasingly clear that these radiometric dating techniques agree with each other and as a whole, present a coherent picture in which the Earth was created a very long time ago.
Antarctic radioactive dating of meteorites
Over a period of a few years to tens of thousands of years, those orbiting the Earth eventually fall to Earth.
Those in orbit around the Sun may also eventually strike the Earth up to a few tens of millions of years after they were launched from the Moon.
These stagnant patches are eroded by strong winds, thereby exposing and concentrating meteorites on the ice surface.
Such areas, called blue ice for their colour, have over just a few decades provided more than 35,000 individual meteorites ranging in size from thumbnail to basketball.
Wiens has a Ph D in Physics, with a minor in Geology.