Field Museum Lands Meteorite Through Donation

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Photo credit Left to right: Terry Boudreaux, meteorite donor; Philipp Heck, Pritzker Associate Curator at the Field Museum; Evan Boudreaux. (WBBM NEWSRADIO)

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- A rare, out-of-this-world artifact moved into the Field Museum Monday afternoon.

Some collect baseball cards or stamps. Terry Boudreaux collects meteorites.

"I was five-years-old and I read all of my father's geology books cover to cover," he said. "That's where the virus started. I'm fascinated that I can hold something with answers about who we are and where we came from."

So, when the longtime donor to the Field Museum got his hands on a "cosmic mudball meteorite" that fell in Costa Rica back in April, he knew exactly where it belonged.

"It's more valuable to scientists than sitting in my case doing nothing. I was 100 percent getting this to donate to the Field Museum. It's too scientifically important,” he explained.

Phillip Heck is the Pritzker Associate Curator at the Field, where the 4.6 billion-year-old meteorite will now be studied by a team of scientists.

"This meteorite probably contains a whole bunch of amino acids, or the building blocks of life," Heck said. "It contains hydrocarbons, propane, sugars and alcohols. This was one of the most important meteorite falls in the last 50 years."