The Marquis de Mauroy, who collected the meteorites that became the Vatican collection, and his wife, Marie Caroline Eugénie, who donated the collection to the Vatican at the death of her husband.
Level: all audiences
In this chapter for the book The Heavens Proclaim: Astronomy and the Vatican, Br. Guy Consolmagno, S. J., an astronomer with the Vatican Observatory, writes “At the Vatican Observatory, you’ll find a thousand aliens: meteorites, rocks from outer space that have fallen to the surface of our Earth.” Includes Introduction (with history of the Vatican Collection); Measuring the Meteorites; Densities; Pennies from Heaven
A formal portrait of the Martian meteorite that fell near the Egyptian town of Nakhla in 1911. (Photo credit: Alberto Pizzoli)
Iron meteorites, like this large slice of the “San Francisco Mountains” meteorite, show a complex crystal pattern when etched with acid. The crystals indicate the high nickel content in the metal. (Photo credit: Alberto Pizzoli)