The JMU Meteorite Collection was started in 2002 in order to have teaching specimens of meteorites for use in introductory astronomy classes. The initial collection contained a simple variety of meteorites including iron, stony, as well as stony-irons meteorites that mostly come from the asteroid belt. Today the collection has vastly expanded to include samples from known solar system objects including Mars, the Moon, as well as the asteroid 4-Vesta. There are additionally impact glasses as well as carbonaceous chondrites from various sites around the world. The collection now also includes several examples of pallasites which are stony-irons that contain beautiful Olivine crystals embedded in an iron matrix. Another notable specimen is the Augusta County meteorite that was found in neighboring Augusta County in 1858 and was eventually analyzed and mentioned in a 1904 Noble prize address.

The show pieces of the collection are two large iron meteorites. The Nantan meteorite weighs 644 pounds and was found in 1958 in Guangxi, China. The Nantan is located in the main meteorite collection which is in the lobby area of the John C. Wells planetarium located on the first floor of Miller hall located on East Grace Street. The other large iron is the Campo del Cielo meteorite located in the lobby of the Physics/Chemistry building located on the East side of campus on Carrier drive.

Everyone is encouraged to visit the meteorites at either location for a self-guided tour. The buildings are usually open during business hours unless there is a holiday. Note: The JMU meteorite collection staff does not certify, authenticate, or render any judgments on samples that individuals may possess. The JMU meteorite collection is maintained as a teaching and research resource that serves both the JMU community as well as the general public.

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