Blogs & Videos: Meteorites

Second Interstellar Dust Foil from NASA Stardust Mission Arrived at Field Museum

Field Museum researchers at the Robert A. Pritzker Center for Meteoritics and Polar Studies have received a second target foil from the Interstellar Dust Collector onboard NASA's Stardust Mission - that returned the first solid extraterrestrial material to Earth from beyond the Moon.

Science at FMNH : Ep. 14 - Presolar Grains & Solar System Formation

Presolar grains are the oldest material in the solar system. These microscopic mineral grains formed before the birth of our Solar System and a small fraction survived in primitive asteroids and comets. Studying them can help us understand the formation of the Solar System and planet Earth.

Science at FMNH : Ep. 13 - The Geologic Record & Environmental Change

The environment in which we live is not static, and the 4.6 billion years of Earth history are a history of change.  Scientists in the Geology Department use cutting edge research to understand the formation of the solar system and the evolution of life on an ever-changing Earth.  

Unusual meteorite donated to the Field Museum

Collections & Research Committee member Terry Boudreaux donated a very unusual meteorite specimen to The Field Museum’s Robert A. Pritzker Center for Meteoritics and Polar Studies.  The meteorite is named NWA 5492 after northwest Africa where it was found.  Its petrology and chemical composition are very different compared to other meteorites and it cannot be classified with the existing scheme.  It is therefore just described as an ungrouped chondrite. 

Field Museum Scientists Study Ancient Asteroid Impact

About 470 million years ago – in a time period called Ordovician – the parent asteroid of one of the L chondrites, one of the most common meteorite types, was disrupted in a collision with another body. This event led to a subsequent bombardment of Earth with collisional debris for at least 10 million years.  

Space Travel Time and Preatmospheric Size of Mifflin

Right after the Mifflin Meteorite fell in SW Wisconsin in April 2010 the Robert A. Pritzker Assistant Curator of Meteoritics and Polar Studies Dr. Philipp R. Heck coordinated an international study to determine the time it spent in space and to calculate its size in space before it got ablated and broke apart in our atmosphere. Now, first results obtained from this study are published as extended abstracts, and were presented in more detail in March at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in Texas: The new results show that Mifflin was travelling through space as a small 3 feet object for about 20 Million years before it landed in Wisconsin.

"Google Earth" Meteorite Gebel Kamil donated to the Field Museum

Private meteorite collector and Collections & Research Committee member Terry Boudreaux donated to the Field Museum two specimens of the iron meteorite Gebel Kamil that formed a 45-m-wide impact crater in the southwestern corner of Egypt (East Uweinat Desert) near the Sudanese and Lybian border.  The crater was discovered through Google Earth in 2009 on a Cretaceous sandstone surface; the impact occurred less than 5000 years ago as reported in a recent article in Geology.  

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