Blogs & Videos: Rocks

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:

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.

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.

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.