Gallery: Ulster Museum / Nature / Origins

Fallen from Space

Meteorites are fragments of metal or rock that fall to Earth from Space. Most meteorites are pieces of asteroids that formed early in the Solar System’s history and were then shattered in collisions. Just a few meteorites are pieces of rock from the Moon or Mars.

The Origins gallery displays some of the different meteorite types that have been found on Earth, and pieces from some that have fallen in Northern Ireland.

Beauty and science

Run your hands over the cold sculptural texture of a huge iron meteorite. See some of the tiny stones that fell from the sky when the giant Chelyabinsk meteorite exploded over Russia in 2013. Marvel at the beauty revealed in a thin slice of ‘stony iron’ pallasite meteorite.

The study of meteorites tells us how, and when, the Solar System formed. Some meteorites have remained unchanged almost from the very beginning of the Solar System 4,567 million years ago. They are the very oldest objects in the museum!

Raw ingredients of Earth and life

Meteorites are made of the same materials from which our own planet and everything on it were formed (including you!). The water and heat on Earth has created many more minerals than are found in meteorites, and has allowed life to develop.

The Earth’s Treasures and Living World galleries nearby display examples of many minerals and living things. These have developed on our planet from the basic raw materials found in meteorites.