Earth & Planetary Sciences Gallery

  • A mother and child looking at specimens in a 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 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!

Cosmic Origins

The Harvard Museum of Natural History marked the 50th anniversary of the first manned mission to the Moon with the unveiling of Cosmic Origins. Visitors to this small exhibit—located within our Earth & Planetary Sciences exhibition—will investigate the origins of and processes shaping planetary bodies and stars by using touchable specimens, colorful visuals, and interactive media.