Pritzker Center for Meteoritics and Polar Studies / Field Museum of Natural History

Assorted Meteor-wrongs, dates variable
Found objects and written correspondence

As a souvenir of the sublime, meteorites hold a special place in our imagination—as the trace of a “shooting star” one made a wish upon, or ancient extraterrestrial presence. When hopeful seekers spot a cryptic lump on the ground and suspect an unearthly origin, they will send their discovery to experts at the Field Museum for confirmation. Typically, the discovery is nothing more than a curious rock or piece of industrial slag, what some experts have come to call meteor-wrongs. Among this selection of meteor-wrongs and the notes that accompanied their arrival to the Field Museum, we see signs of genuine scientific curiosity, treasure hunting, and everything in between. So much of what is sought, and what we believe we see, is built upon expectation rather than anything that the objects themselves communicate.

Courtesy of The Pritzker Center for Meteorics and Polar Studies, Field Museum of Natural History. Special thanks to Dr. Philipp Heck and collections manager James Holstein.