Blogs & Videos: Meteorites

Four Fascinating Meteorites That Provide Clues to Understanding Our Solar System

Meteorites have been falling to Earth for literally hundreds of millions of years—and continue to land here today. Our Meteorites exhibition features rare and fascinating meteorites, from fossil meteorites to a meteorite on Mars. 

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.

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.

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!

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”)

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.

Fossil Meteorites

In which we set out and find fossil meteorites in time and space. Wait... meteorites can be fossilized?! Mind blown.  Read more about Philipp Heck's meteoritical research and the arrival of fossil meteorites at The Field Museum!  Thanks to Mario Tassinari for the loan of the fossil meteorites, and Birger Schmitz for pioneering this field. Thanks to Philipp Heck, The Field Museum and NASA/JPL for archive images and video.

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