This expansive gallery displays thousands of rare minerals and sparkling gemstones in both rough and cut specimens, including a 1,600-pound amethyst geode from Brazil. The exhibition highlights new research and offers a broad overview of the dynamic processes and events that formed our planet and that have shaped its continuing evolution. Visitors can touch rock and mineral specimens that date back to the beginning of our solar system. Uncover mysteries of our planet's origins revealed in ancient meteorites and terrestrial rock containing some of the oldest minerals on Earth such as zircon crystals that have survived intact for 4.3 billion years!
On July 20, 2019, the museum marked the 50th Anniversary of the first manned mission to the Moon with the unveiling of Cosmic Origins, a smaller-scale exhibit in the Earth & Planetary Sciences gallery. Visitors can investigate the origins of and processes shaping planetary bodies and stars using touchable specimens, colorful visuals, and interactive media. The exhibit features an original lunar rock specimen, collected during the Apollo 12 mission, which is on loan from NASA.