Blogs & Videos: Geology

Terry Boudreaux donates unique meteorite to the Field Museum

The meteorite, named Northwest Africa 7325, was found in Southern Morocco in early 2012 and likely comes from an asteroid in the space between Mars and Jupiter. The rock has puzzled scientists, leading one to speculate that it comes from the planet Mercury; however most researchers find this claim weak due to lack of evidence. This rock is an ungrouped achondrite and comes from a planetary body that has not been sampled before. Its study will enhance our picture of the diversity of planets in our solar system, and help better understand the formation of the planets, including Earth.

Russian Meteorite Lands at Field Museum

On February 15, 2013 a fireball exploded over the Chelyabinsk district of Russia. The shock wave caused significant damage and injuries to many in the area. This meteor was the largest object to fall on Earth in almost 100 years, with an estimated mass of about 11,000 metric tons. On April 9, The Field Museum received several pieces of the Chelyabinsk Meteorite totaling about two pounds thanks to a generous donation from meteorite collector Terry Boudreaux.

Mifflin Meteorite Results Published in Meteoritics & Planetary Science

The first scientific paper describing the almost local meteorite Mifflin that fell on April 14, 2010 in southwestern Wisconsin got published this week in the peer-reviewed journal Meteoritics & Planetary Science. The Robert A. Pritzker Assistant Curator for Meteoritics and Polar Studies Philipp Heck is a member of the international consortium who studied the space rock and co-author of the study. Pieces of Mifflin are on public display at the Field Museum and are part of the meteorite collection.

Successful Presolar Grains Workshop held in Chicago

From January 25-27, 2013 the Annual Presolar Grains Workshop was held in Chicago. At this informal gathering cosmochemists and astrophysicists met and talked about how the study of presolar grains can help improve our understanding of how stars work. The successful meeting was held with talks at the University of Chicago, a dinner at the Field Museum and tours through the labs and collection of the Robert A. Pritzker Center for Meteoritics and Polar Studies. Below are some photos of the reception night at the University of Chicago with a tour of the new instrument CHILI (Chicago Instrument for Laser Ionization) and the appropriately chosen accompanying chili tasting competition.

Science paper: The Sutter's Mill Meteorite

Robert A. Pritzker Assistant Curator of Meteoritics and Polar Studies Dr. Philipp R. Heck is co-author on a paper in the journal Science on the first results of the rare meteorite, Sutter’s Mill. On April 22 a very fast-moving fireball was observed over large parts of California and Nevada. Equivalent to four kilotons of TNT, the fireball was photographed, and recorded by video and by weather Doppler-radars. The photographs and videos helped to trace back its orbit to the far reaches of the outer part of the asteroid belt. The Sutter’s Mill meteorite was scrutinized by almost the entire arsenal of observational and analytical state-of-the-art tools available to scientists today.