Blogs & Videos: Geology

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 on August 24, 2006. 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”)

Two images, one showing the outside of a rock and the other showing the cross section, which is speckled tan, black and gold

A Breakup with Lasting Impact: Meteorites from a 470-Million-Year-Old Split

The residents of a Chicago suburb were jolted awake just before midnight on March 26, 2003—by meteorites falling through their roofs and windows. The Park Forest meteorite, named for the area at the center of the shower, fell in one of the most heavily populated areas to see meteorites in recent history.

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