About the Facility

The Meteorite Lab has a number of geochemistry and experimental instruments that are used to investigate and understand the chemical processes that operate in our solar system. The lab has the capability to conduct experiments that mimic the high temperatures and pressures inside rocky planets, moons or asteroids. The lab is equipped with sample preparation equipment, which enables samples to be ground, sieved, dried, mounted, cleaned, cut, polished and stored. Petrographic and binocular microscopes are available to characterize samples and capture digital images. A tabletop scanning electron microscope captures high-magnification images to roughly a micron in scale, and the lab’s energy dispersive X-ray spectrometer measures the object’s composition. The Meteorite Lab supports studies of extraterrestrial samples, including meteorites and samples from the Moon, projects for spacecraft instrument development and experimental investigations of the formation and evolution of planetary bodies.