Building the Solar System main content.

Building the Solar System

Part of Hall of Meteorites.

Exhibition panel showing text and gems and minerals M. Shanley/©AMNH

Before Meteorites, There Were Minerals

The solar system began as a hot, swirling cloud of dust and vapor. Over 4.6 billion years later, you stand on a dynamic, rocky planet called Earth. Meteorites represent the early steps on the journey from particles to planets—but before meteorites, the vapor and dust cooled, condensed and formed minerals. Today, we find and study th