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Philanthropist Donates Meteorite Fragment To Field Museum

Field Museum

(credit: fieldmuseum.org)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — A philanthropist specializing in meteorites has given the Field Museum ten grams of a 4.6 billion year old meteorite that exploded last month over northern California.

Terry Boudreaux, a retired businessman, says only a few hundred grams have been recovered from the 70-ton meteorite that flamed into earth near Coloma, Calif., April 22.

Field Museum Meteorite Curator Philipp Heck especially values part of the sample collected before it could be drenched by rain. That would change the amount of sodium and potassium needed to determine the age and origin.

Boudreaux says the meteorite is a Carbonaceous Chondrite which contains carbon, amino acids not found on Earth, pre-solar diamonds and interstellar stardust, dating back to the Big Bang

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