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Explore Secrets of the Martian meteorites with Inside Explorer

The Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago holds one of the largest and most important natural history collections in the world, and its meteorite collection is the largest at a private research institute. A newly opened exhibition has allowed new light to be shed on the fascinating details that meteorites hold.

Interspectral has worked with the Field Museum since 2013 and has already successfully delivered several visualisation solutions for permanent, temporary and travelling exhibitions. This most recent project has resulted in original content for Interspectral and has opened up new applications at natural history museums, planetariums and science centres.

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The recently opened exhibition displays meteorites from Mexico and Africa and even a replica one from Mars that visitors can touch. Using Inside Explorer tables visitors to the exhibition can expect to discover a great deal more about meteorites and the places they have come from, than they might believe on first sight. One of the most impressive elements of the new material is from a meteorite from the meteor explosion in Chelyabinsk, Russia in 2013. This meteor was the largest object to fall to earth from space in almost 100 years, with an estimated mass of 11,000 metric tonnes.

The touch screens allow members of the public to see into the core of the meteorites. Not only that, but they are using the very same technology that scientists at the museum use for their research. It is undeniably an inspirational way to get young people interested in science and space exploration.

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This type of material is a new departure for Interspectral and opens up a wealth of data to a new range of institutions, including natural history museums, planetariums and science centres. The content can be made available to these organisations and new audiences more widely than ever before in the form of a content package, which contains data from a selection of important meteorites in the Field Museum’s collection. These include: Allende – a rare carbonaceous chondrite – only 4% of meteorites are of this type containing carbon; NWA 11115 – a Martian meteorite found in North West Africa; Botten 003 – a fossil meteorite created from an asteroid collision 466 million years ago; and the Chelyabinsk meteor that came to earth in 2013.

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