Meteorites at the Natural History Museum in Los Angeles

The last time I had been to the Natural History Museum in Los Angeles was about 30 years ago. My wife and I have been trying to take our grandchildren and their parents on some outings during the summer. When the new Dinosaur Exhibit opened at the museum we thought that would be fun. So I booked tickets for it and added in the Butterfly Pavilion as well. I knew there would be some meteorites there if I looked in the geology hall so it was my plan to see that part of the museum before we left.

Our tickets were for the Butterfly Pavilion first and that was a pleasant surprise. A lot more butterflies then I had expected. A really nice exhibit where you walk through a greenhouse full of butterflies and the plants they love. We really enjoyed that. But, it did not take very long to make our way through, so it was off to see the dinosaur exhibit. A very large portion of the museum is devoted to the dinosaurs. There were many impressive full-scale skeleton exhibits and lots of rock samples and claws and teeth. There was the required exhibit about Chicxulub with a meteorite on display. There was no name plate on this approximately one foot wide iron. I am guessing it is a Canyon Diablo or Campo probably the former.

 We left the dinosaurs behind and headed to the Hall of Minerals. Almost as we entered we ran into the meteorites that were on display. I know that with the Griffith Observatory not far away and its fabulous exhibit of meteorites there was no compelling reason to show a lot at the NHM. But I will show you in the next pictures what was on display.

Scattered around Los Angeles County are some very nice and large Canyon Diablo irons that were acquired long ago. Griffith Park Observatory has wonderful examples that appear in a past article I did on that venue. I was however surprised when the first meteorite you see as you round the corner into the meteorite area is a beautiful Canyon Diablo at NHM. There is no weight marked on the name plate but, here it is with my granddaughter Kayli. Who by the way has quite and interest in meteorites and science in general.

Just when you think you have seen the last meteorite that the museum has to offer; in the section devoted to native metals there is a beautiful full slice of Gibeon.

 We saw all the gems and minerals and it is pretty impressive. But, besides the meteorites of course I found the butterflies to be the most interesting. So that my grandson will not be disappointed when he is older here is a picture of him with my daughter in the Butterfly Pavilion. That was the part he really enjoyed, but later he will learn about meteorites.

 I guess it is the way of things in a museum like the NHM of Los Angeles County to have so much to cover that each area of interest must be relatively limited. Unless of course it is featured like the dinosaurs currently are. The meteorites they had on exhibit were all very nice. Though in my opinion the Millbillillie was too small for such a prominent museum.

About the Author

James Tobin
The Meteorite Exchange, Inc. was born in 1996 with meteorite.com and Meteorite Times Magazine in 2002. Still enthusiastic about meteorites and all things related to them, we hunt, collect, cut and prepare specimens. We travel to gem shows and enjoy meteorites as much now as in the beginning. Please feel free to share any comments you have on this or any of our other sites.
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