Philipp Heck (Robert A. Pritzker Associate Curator for Meteoritics and Polar Studies) and collaborators from the University of Maryland and the University of California at Davis report on the rapid effects of terrestrial alteration of a pristine meteorite in a new article in Meteoritics & Planetary Science: The meteorite was seen falling in April 2012 over California’s Sierra foothills and landed near Sutter’s Mill (where the 1848–49 Gold Rush started).
The Field’s team consisting of University of Chicago graduate student Jennika Greer and Robert A. Pritzker Associate Curator Philipp Heck used scanning electron microscopy with X-ray spectroscopy and Raman spectroscopy to classify the rock as a very weakly shocked H4 chondrite. Out of about 60,000 confirmed meteorites, only about 0.1 percent are H4 chondrite falls. The meteorite is now officially named after Hamburg, Michigan.
A bright fireball streaked across the sky on January 16, 2018 near Detroit. The shockwave through the air caused a magnitude 2.0 earthquake in the area. Meteorite hunter Robert Ward used a strewn field map generated through Doppler radar data from NASA collaborator Marc Fries to search for meteorites. He found several pieces, and donated one to the Field. The connection to Robert Ward is thanks to long-time Field Museum supporter and private meteorite collector Terry Boudreaux. Robert A. Pritzker Associate Curator Philipp Heck and Resident graduate student Jennika Greer (Univ.
No, it’s not a sci-fi movie, but rather the unique Swedish fossil meteorite Oesterplana 065 which is the subject of a paper published last week in Meteoritics & Planetary Science by Postdoctoral Scholar Surya Rout (now at the University of Bern, Switzerland), Robert A. Pritzker Associate Curator for Meteoritics and Polar Studies Philipp Heck, and Field Museum Research Associate and Professor of Geology Birger Schmitz (Lund University of Sweden).
Resident Ph.D. Student Jennika Greer (Univ. of Chicago/Geophysical Sciences) has been selected to receive the McKay Award,* which honors the best student oral presentation at the Meteoritical Society Annual Meeting. This is particularly impressive, since this was her first oral presentation at a major scientific meeting. Jennika’s project focused on the analysis of a lunar sample to study the effects of space weathering, which affects airless bodies such as the Moon and asteroids.
You’ll recall the big news about the Museum’s acquisition of rare fossil meteorites a few years ago. These rocks from space fell into an ancient sea about 470 million years ago, and after three years at the Museum, continue to yield new information at the hands of Pritzker Associate Curator Philipp Heck and colleagues.
A bit more than 14 years ago, a 2-6 ton space rock entered the Earth's atmosphere. It broke up above Chicagoland, and up to 100 kg of fragments fell into southern suburb of Park Forest, which now lends its name to the meteorite. The new study published by Matthias Meier, a researcher at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and a former graduate student of Robert A.
The Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago opened a brand new exhibit on meteorites in February 2017. The exhibit features an exclusive display of four rare fossil meteorites that fell to Earth into an ocean 466 million years ago. In the Americas this is the only place which has fossil meteorites on exhibit. These rare specimens were loaned from private collector Mario Tassinari from Sweden.
On Monday, February 6, 2017 around 1:30 AM 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.
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?