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.
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.
Please check out our blogs and photos from our field work in Antarctica. For our expedition we are part of the Russian Antarctic Expedition and are also collaborating with the Geological Survey of India. Learn more at our Expeditions@FieldMuseum site.
When a meteor hits the earth, there is the possibility that it brings something very rare along with it: cosmic stardust older than our Solar System. Dr. Philipp Heck and his team of scientists use a combination of geosciences, chemistry, and astronomy to hunt for these presolar grains, which offer glimpses into our galaxy's past.
Video: We are all Stardust
On September 24, Collections & Research Committee Member and private meteorite collector Terry Boudreaux donated and loaned specimens of a freshly fallen meteorite to the Museum’s Robert A. Pritzker Center for Meteoritics and Polar Studies. The meteorite produced a fireball associated with a sonic boom before it hit the ground near Battle Mountain, NV on August 23. The meteorite is tentatively classified as an ordinary chondrite of type L6.