American Museum of Natural History. Arthur Ross Hall of Meteorites.

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Exist Dates

1976 - present

Biographical or Historical Note

abstract
Permanent exhibition. Opened May 21, 1976 and April 30, 1981. Located on Floor 1, Section 6. The Arthur Ross Hall of Meteorites at the American Museum of Natural History opened as part of a three-part exhibition with the Harry Frank Guggenheim Hall of Minerals and the Morgan Memorial Hall of Gems on May 21, 1976 (1, 1975/76, p. 20). The hall was under construction again for two years and reopened on April 30, 1981 (1, 1980/81, p. 49) The hall was completely renovated and updated in 2001 (1, 2001/03, p. 7). The curator of the hall and meteorite collection, Department of Mineral Sciences chairman Martin Prinz, worked with D. Vincent Manson who served as consultant, and Albert Woods of design firm Ramirez and Woods. The hall is named in honor of Museum trustee and benefactor of the hall, Arthur Ross (1, 1975/76 p. 20; 1, 1980/81 p. 29).

By examining meteorites the hall explores essential questions about the origins of our solar system which formed some 4.6 billion years ago. The hall is divided into sections, which focus on the origins of the solar system, the processes involved in building planets, and meteorites 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, notably the fragments of the Cape York Meteorite from Greenland, including the 34-ton Ahnighito, the Woman, and the Dog. The Ahnighito is the largest meteorite on display anywhere in the world and is so heavy that it required support posts to the bedrock of the Museum. 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 (2; 3).

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. (source: AMNH website, accessed October 24, 2016)

Sources

    (1) American Museum of Natural History. Annual Reports. New York: American Museum of Natural History, 1975/76-2001/03.
    (2) American Museum of Natural History. "Arthur Ross Hall of Meteorites", accessed October 24, 2016, http://www.amnh.org/exhibitions/permanent-exhibitions/earth-and-planetary-sciences-halls/arthur-ross-hall-of-meteorites.
    (3) Arthur Ross Hall of Meteorites. American Museum of Natural History, New York, NY. March 24, 2017.
    Information for the hall appears in the following Museum publications:
    American Museum of Natural History Annual Reports for years 1975 (page 20); 1978 (page 7, 34); 1979 (page 3, 4); 1980 (page 2, 55); 1981 (page 30); 1982 (page 34); 1983 (page 5, 38); 1984 (page 35); 1985 (page 8); 1986 (page 37); 1988 (page 7, 56); 1989 (page 32); 1990 (page 6); 2001 (page 7); 2006 (page 2, 4, 29); 2007 (page 6).
    American Museum of Natural History Official Guide for years 1984 (page 57, 60);

Terms

place
New YorkExternal link
AMNH: Floor 1, Section 6.

Related Corporate, Personal, and Family Names

Brunflo Meteorite (Exhibition)
associated dates: 1987 January-unknown
Manson, D. M. Vincent
Consultant for the creation of the hall (1, 1975/76 p. 20).
Prinz, Martin
Curator for the hall (1, 1975/76 p. 20).
Ramirez and Woods
Design firm for creation of the hall (1, 1980/81, p. 29).
Right Through the Roof! The Wethersfield Meteorites (Exhibition)
associated dates: 1983 November 30-1984 March 31
Ross, Arthur
Museum Trustee and major donor for the hall. The hall is named for him (1, 1980/81, p. 29).

Related Resources

subjectOf
Historic Halls of the American Museum of Natural History
Curated digital images of permanent halls in the American Museum of Natural History Library, Digital Special Collections.

Written by: Clare O'Dowd
Last modified: 2019 February 15


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