“The Field Museum’s Moon Rock Holiday Special,” by S.M. O’Connor

Members of The Field Museum of Natural History will have an opportunity to snap photographs of a Moon rock and learn about the science behind science fiction films such as Star Wars (1977) and Alien (1979) with the “Moon Rock Holiday Special” on Friday, December 20, 2019 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  They will also get to connect with scientists and see Martian samples, as well as the famous Tataouine Meteorite recovered in Tunisia in 1932. The “Moon Rock Holiday Special” will take place in the Founders Room on the Main Level, near the gift shop.  Check in at the Membership Desk before proceeding there.   The name of this event is clearly a play on the many Christmas specials that play on television (and now streaming video services like Netflix). This event is free for Members and their guests.  Space is limited and offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Click here to become a Member.

       Open 364 days a year (every day but Christmas Day) from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., the last admission time to The Field Museum is 4:00 p.m.  SUE’s “private suite” (formerly the movie theater in Evolving Planet) opened on Friday, December 21, 2018.  SUE is the most complete Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton yet recovered.  Her mounted bones went on display at The Field Museum on May 17, 2000.[1]  More than 10,000 people visited The Field Museum that day. 

      In one of the largest private gifts ever to a Chicago museum, the Tyrannosaurus rex SUE was remounted in a more scientifically accurate way and moved upstairs from Stanley Field Hall to the exhibit The Griffin Halls of Evolving Planet, as I wrote about in 2017.  Meanwhile, a touchable cast of the biggest dinosaur yet discovered, Patagotitan mayorum, was installed in Stanley Field Hall, as part of The Field Museum’s 125th anniversary celebrations in 2018, thanks to a $16,500,000 gift from the Kenneth C. Griffin Charitable Trust.  This titanosaur cast, which strecthes across 122 feet of Stanley Field Hall, has been dubbed Máximo.  Moving SUE upstairs and remounting her inside The Griffin Halls of Evolving Planet, the installation of the titanosaur and pterosaurs (flying reptile) casts in Stanley Field Hall, and the traveling exhibit Antarctic Dinosaursfall under the umbrella of the Griffin Dinosaur Experience.  Last year, The Field Museum announced the $250,000,000 fundraising campaign “Because Earth. The Campaign for the Field Museum.”

    The Field Museum has over 30,000,000 artifacts and specimens.  Over 150 scientists, conservators, and collections staff members work there.

      The Field Museum is located on the Museum Campus at the northern end of the Chicago Park District’s Burnham Park, due east of Grant Park in downtown Chicago.  These days, it is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  The address is 1400 South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60605. The phone number is (312) 922-9410.  The Website U.R.L. is https://www.fieldmuseum.org/.

[1] William Mullen and Alex Bordens, “Learning from Sue,” Chicago Tribune, 16 May, 2010, Section 1, p. 4

See also William Mullen, “T. Rex Proving to be $8.3 Million Bargain for Field Museum,” Chicago Tribune, 16 May, 2010, Section 1, p. 4

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