Shortcut Navigation:
A.3.2. Stones. Melted or unmelted hero

Stones. Melted or unmelted

Stones

  • Exhibition Text

    • Melted or unmelted

      Stony meteorites fall into two main groups: those that partially melted while they were in space, and those that did not melt.

      Unmelted stony meteorites, the more common type that includes Estacado, are the oldest rocks formed in our solar system. These ancient stones offer a record of the solar system in its infancy.

      Partially melted stony meteorites, the rarer type, show that when planets and asteroids melted, they separated into metal and stony parts.

      The stuff that stars are made of

      Stars and their planets form in large clouds of gas and dust like the Orion nebula shown here. The oldest meteorites contain material from the nebula in which our solar system formed some 4.6 billion years ago.

      Show more
  • For Educators

    • Topic: Earth Science

      Subtopic: Meteorites

      Keywords: Astrogeology, Astrophysics, Meteorites, Rocks, Solar System--Origin

      Audience: General

In This Section

A.3.2.2. Estacado. Older than the Earth A

Estacado

The stony meteorite Estacado is older than Earth. If you touch the dark, round spots, you can feel the solid particles from which the solar system formed more than four billion years ago. 

American Museum of Natural History

Central Park West at 79th Street
New York, NY 10024-5192
Phone: 212-769-5100

Open daily from 10 am - 5:45 pm
except on Thanksgiving and Christmas
Maps and Directions

Enlighten Your Inbox

Stay informed about Museum news and research, events, and more!