Earth & Planetary Sciences Gallery

  • A view of the Earth and Planetary Gallery at the museum.
  • Hundreds of thousands of stars in the globular cluster called NGC 6397 taken by the Hubble Telescope.

This renovated gallery displays thousands of rare minerals and sparkling gemstones in both rough and cut examples, including a 1,600-pound amethyst geode from Brazil. Exhibits highlight new research and offer 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, zircon crystals that have survived intact for 4.3 billion years!

Cosmic Origins

On July 20, 2019, the Harvard Museum of Natural History will mark the 50th Anniversary of the first manned mission to the Moon with the unveiling of Cosmic Origins, a new mini-exhibit located in the Earth & Planetary Sciences Gallery. Visitors will investigate the origins of and processes shaping planetary bodies and stars using touchable specimens, colorful visuals, and interactive media. Through May 31, 2020, the exhibit will also feature an original lunar specimen, on loan from NASA, collected during Apollo 12.