Supercold meteorite arrives at Field Museum

Updated 10/10/2019 4:07 PM

In a darkened hallway within the labyrinth of offices and laboratories at the Field Museum, a select group of scientists, museum officials and a wealthy donor gathered Monday to glimpse a chunk of charred rock about the size of an average brick.

"It's priceless," said Philipp Heck, a Field scientist, as his gloved fingers lifted the rock out of a black plastic box and held it aloft for all to see.


The rock -- said by those few permitted to get close enough, to have an odor of "sweet Brussels sprouts" -- is older than the dinosaurs, the Earth, the sun.

The meteorite now belongs to the museum, courtesy of Terry Boudreaux, a retired health care executive and frequent donor.

The meteor landed on earth in April as part of a fireball that showered a hilly region of Costa Rica with meteorites. The Field chunk was the largest piece discovered.

Boudreaux declined to say how much he paid for it.

Unfortunately, the meteor won't go on display for the public. To stop its organic material from evaporating, it will kept "ultra cold" -- at minus 320 degrees Fahrenheit.

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