On April 9, 2013 the Field Museum's Robert A. Pritzker Center for Meteoritics and Polar Studies has obtained more than 2.2 pounds and 234 pieces of the Chelyabinsk meteorite through a donation of meteorite collector Terry Boudreaux. Pieces of the meteorite are available for scientific research. Research on that meteorite will help us better understand the history of the solar system in particular its collisional history.
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.
Today, two cosmic visitors made the news around the globe today, February 15, 2013. First, this morning an unexpected visitor blazed through the mid-morning sky of Russia near the city of Chelyabinsk. It produced a spectacular fireball accompanied by a shockwave that resulted in a sonic boom. The shockwave made windows shatter which resulted in injuries to hundreds of people. It is very unusual that meteorite falls cause injuries. To date there is no documented case of a human casualty caused by a meteorite although some injuries have been reported from previous falls.
The Field Museum has acquired six pieces of an extremely important Martian meteorite that was hurled into space about 700,000 years ago when Mars collided with an asteroid.
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.