Blogs & Videos: Geology

Facts Matter at The Field Museum

In science, we're constantly striving to make new discoveries and gain a better understanding of life, nature, and the world around us.  Watch as some of our science communicators and experts take us on a tour through the Evolving Planet exhibition, showcasing just a few of many science facts you can find here. At The Field Museum, we're always doing research and learning more, and we invite you to be curious and explore the facts alongside us.

What Do We Mean When We Talk About Facts in Science?

The use of the words “fact”, “hypothesis”, and “theory” in science can be confusing, especially if conducting research isn’t your everyday job! But these terms have specific meanings, and they’re part of an important process that scientists use to gather information about the world around us. First, some quick definitions—here’s how scientists at The Field Museum (and around the world) use these terms:

Bright Fireball Over the Midwest

On Monday, February 6, 2017, around 1:30am local time, many inhabitants of the Midwest saw a bright fireball shooting across the night sky. Some even heard a sonic boom. The Field Museum's Invertebrate Collections Manager Paul Mayer woke up from the sonic boom: "I was staying in Fredonia, Wisconsin and was woken up by a large boom that shook the whole house. It sounded like thunder and I thought maybe it was a train hitting something. I got up and looked out the window, but did not see anything.

Today’s rare meteorites were once common

Four hundred and sixty-six million years ago, there was a giant collision in outer space. Something hit an asteroid and broke it apart, sending chunks of rock falling to Earth as meteorites since before the time of the dinosaurs. But what kinds of meteorites were making their way to Earth before that collision? In a new study in Nature Astronomy, Field Museum scientists have tackled that question by creating the first reconstruction of the distribution of meteorite types before the collision.

Eight of the Most Nightmarish Prehistoric Animals

There's been life on earth for about four billion years, and a lot of it has been freaking terrifying. Great job, evolution, we’ll all be having bad dreams tonight. 1. Basilosaurus basilosaurus.png © The Field Museum, GEO86500_166d, Photographer Karen Carr, artist.

Botflies, Chicago Parakeets, and the Smallest Collection | Ask Emily #13

Got a question? Give us a call! +1 (315) 367-2667 - aka 315-Em-Scoop !!! For more science stories and updates, check out our new series, 'Natural News from The Field Museum'! We're alternating that show with Brain Scoop episodes to keep things EXCITING!

How the Hunt for the Philosopher’s Stone Led to Phosphorus

What glows in the dark, is flammable, and was first discovered in human urine? While this substance may sound dangerous (and a little gross), it exists in foods we eat and in the world around us. We’re talking about phosphorus, the 13th element. Phosphorus is mainly produced in exploding massive stars, known as core-collapse supernovae. It is the 18th-most abundant element in the universe and the 13th-most abundant element in Earth’s crust.

Learning from Pluto as a Dwarf Planet

Pluto was reclassified as a dwarf planet 10 years ago today. While many grieved the loss of the ninth planet, we’re now learning more than ever about this ball of ice and its faraway neighborhood at the edge of the solar system. So, what ended Pluto’s run as a planet? The International Astronomical Union, or IAU, defines a planet by three qualities: 1. Orbits the Sun 2. Big enough for gravity to shape it into a sphere (which is called “hydrostatic equilibrium”)

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