Stones that fall from the sky have been known for millennia, but only during the past 200 years was their extraterrestrial origin confirmed. Today scientists know that meteorites, these inconspicuous gray or brown rocks, are the only witnesses of the origin of the solar system (and the Earth) available to us. Their composition provides invaluable information on the origin of the chemical elements, as well as when and how our planetary system formed. This book recounts the history of meteorite research, tells us how and where to find and identify them, their classification and composition, including the exciting story of meteorites from Moon and Mars, and what happens when huge meteorites, the asteroids, collide with the Earth. Plentiful color illustrations come from the huge meteorite collection at the Natural History Museum in Vienna, which is also the oldest in the world.