Meteorites: the search for the origins of life

By Monica Grady

The study of meteorites is helping us understand the processes and materials that shaped the Earth and the solar system. Recent space missions, and the analysis of meteorites from the Moon, Mars and the asteroid belt, have led scientists to question the possible evolution of life on other planets. How is a meteorite formed, where do they come from and how do they arrive on Earth? 

Monica Grady, Professor of Planetary and Space Science at the Open University and former head of the petrology and meteoritics division in the Department of Mineralogy at the Natural History Museum, discusses these questions and more. 

Meteorites: the search for the origins of life PDF (152.2 KB)

Cartoon image of lab coats with T.rex name label

Our fossil insect collection includes Rhyniognatha hirsti, the world's oldest fossil insect, dating back some 400 million years.