An Article In Meteorite-Times Magazine
by Robert Verish

The Adler Planetarium

Field Trip - to the Adler Planetarium in Chicago
A report on the meteorites & space rocks on display in this Planetarium -
as recorded on May 2004.
Most of the Meteorites and Space Rocks are on loan from the nearby Field Museum.
No trip to see the meteorites at Chicago's Field Museum would be complete without a viewing of these displays at the nearby Adler Planetarium!

Posted 06/05/05 | by Robert Verish

Entrance to Adler Planetarium
The original entrance to the Adler Planetarium - | - taken on 2004 May 19 - | - all images by Bolide*Chaser

On a last minute business trip to Chicago, Illinois, I found myself having a lot of free time. So, I made a list of "sites to see" and high on that list was the Field Museum. I could almost see the Field Museum from the hotel room, but what was clearly visible was an interesting-looking, circular building way out on the edge of Lake Michigan. A quick check of my map informed me that the domed building was, in fact, the Adler Planetarium. I added the Adler to my "sites to see".

At the Field Museum I eventually discovered that there was a newer display of meteorites that was quite a distance separated from the old original display. I found this newer display to be interesting, but the lighting was extremely poor, and it was nearly impossible to take any images of good quality. Maybe a meteorite collector more local to Chicago could arrange to have some proper images made (with proper lighting), because I would really like to refer to a webpage of images of those meteorites. In any case, the images that I took at the Field Museum did not survive the return trip home. Fortunately, the images that I took at the Adler Museum did survive, and I have finally uploaded them in order to publish this webpage.

[On the day that I took the above image of the Adler, it was quite cold, always cloudy, and incessantly windy. But then, I did say that this was Chicago, so I guess I'm being redundant.]

The name, Field Museum, is one that is familiar to meteorite collectors, as well as to scientists, because it is home to one of the finest meteorite collections in the United States, if not the entire world. But what wasn't known to me at that time, was that a portion of their collection was on display in the Adler Planetarium

Left side of Mars Rock display - | - Mars Rock display - | - Mars Meteorites on display!

I was pleasantly surprised to see various displays incorporating meteorites and moon rocks. Still had problems with low-light conditions and I couldn't use my flash, but at least I have something to look back on and to remind me of my visit to the Adler Planetarium.

Chassignite on display - | - Mars Meteorite display - | - Shergottite on display!

Talked to the Planetarium managers about this display, but on that particular day there was no one there that could give me more information on these meteorites, other than to go back to the Field Museum and ask the curator there.


A Canyon Diablo (CD) at the Meteor Crater display. - | - Another view of the CD at this display.

This nice Canyon Diablo (CD) iron meteorite fragment deserves another Close-up view.
And here is a close-up view of the LABEL for this CD.

Left side of display - | - The "GSR" - | - Entire Moon Rock display - | - "GSR" on display!

Although not a meteorite, being able to see the interior of a "Moon Rock" can be very educational. Fans and space buffs of the NASA Apollo Program will be familiar with the name "Great Scott Rock":
"The whole 'Great Scott Rock' weighed about 21.3 lbs (9.6kg) before scientists cut it apart for study. The rock on display is just one small piece. It is about 4 billion years old - older than almost all rocks on the Earth's surface."

There is another moon rock on display in Chicago, but it is in the middle of downtown in the front window of the Chicago Tribune Tower building, and it can be seen from the sidewalk.

Close-up of the Apollo moon rock "Great Scott Rock" embedded in lucite plastic.

The rock on display (depicted in the image above) was once part of the much larger "Great Scott Rock", collected by the Apollo 15 crew on July 30, 1971. It was named "Great" because it was the mission's largest rock sample, and "Scott" for mission astronaut David R. Scott.


Space Invaders!!

Park Forest, Illinois is Invaded from Space!!

Please "Click" on the above images to ENLARGE them.

The text on the "Space Invader" poster describes the Park Forest Meteorite that they have on display.
Please excuse the quality of these images, but this display had very low lighting and the conditions were very poor for taking images. As a courtesy, I did not use my flash unit until I was eventually able to obtain permission.

This is an image of the LABEL that is in the display case with the Jones Park Forest specimen.

The Park Forest meteorite is an L5 chondrite. It is characterized as a breccia with light gray clasts in a very dark matrix, referred to as the light and dark lithologies, respectively. Most of the recovered meteorite fragments, especially this larger one, are dominated by the light lithology.

Please "Click" on the above images to ENLARGE the views of this Park Forest stone.

This nice Park Forest (L5) stony meteorite individual deserves several views from different angles.
The Park Forest meteorite is one of the most recent observed falls in the United States. The fireball approached from the southwest and was visible from parts of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Missouri. The subsequent meteorite shower hit the southern suburbs of Chicago at approximately 11:50 p.m. on March 26, 2003.

Please "Click" on the above images to ENLARGE them.

"Shortly before midnight on March 26, 2003, a car-sized meteor[oid] exploded in the air above Olympia Fields and Park Forest, Illinois. Hundreds of stony fragments fell on an area about three to five miles across, with some crashing into houses and cars. Luckily, nobody was hurt! This 5.9 pound meteorite [on display in the Adler] is the largest piece recovered from this fall."

Please "Click" on the above images to ENLARGE them.

"What will this one be called? The Joneses have given their rock a special name: "Tealoe'", a combination of the names of their granddaughters, Te'Ara and Chloe'. However, meteorites are officially named after the closest city or geographic feature to where they are found. When many fragments fall over an extended area, they are all named after the central location where most are found. Therefore, the meteorites that fell on Illinois on March 26, 2003 will probably be called the "Park Forest meteorites", even though many were found in Olympia Fields and Steger."


Entrance to Adler Planetarium

The Adler Planetarium - | - taken on 2005 July 11 - | - image by Wikipedia

No trip to see the meteorites at Chicago's Field Museum would be complete without a viewing of these displays at the nearby Adler Planetarium!


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