We mourn the loss of Robert A. Pritzker who passed away on October 27th, 2011. His generosity and passion for science supported research programs at the Field Museum. He joined The Board of Trustees in 1983 and served as Chairman from 1988 to 1991 and was elected Life Trustee in 2008. In 2009 his son, Col. James N. Pritzker founded the Robert A. Pritzker Center for Meteoritics and Polar Studies at the Field Museum to honor his father's dedication to the study of the natural world. Robert A. Pritzker's legacy lives on in the Field Museum's quest for understanding our natural history.
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.
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.
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. This finding is reported in a recent study by Field Museum scientists Dr. Birger Schmitz (Research Associate), Robert A. Pritzker Assistant Curator of Meteoritics and Polar Studies Dr. Philipp Heck, and an international team of coauthors.