The Arthur Ross Hall of Meteorites explores essential questions about the origins of our solar system some 4.6 billion years ago by examining meteorites, rocky fragments from space that reveal clues about the formation and evolution of the Sun and planets.
The hall is divided into three sections, which focus on the origins of the solar system, the processes involved in building planets, and meteorite impacts, with details about impact sites in Kansas, South Africa, and other locations around the world. More than 130 scientifically significant meteorites are displayed here, including the 34-ton Cape York Meteorite, also known as Ahnighito. In addition, the hall features rare Mars specimens and Moon rocks collected in the Apollo missions of the 1970s.
A scale model of the Meteor Crater of Arizona, also known as the Barringer Crater and considered the world’s best-preserved impact crater, is featured with a cutaway section to illustrate how the crater was formed. The identification of this feature as an impact site in the early 20th century changed the way scientists thought about the solar system as researchers began to argue that impacts might have cratered the Moon and other planets.