Science Pub Portland: Meteorites

DEC 7, 2017 | 7-9PM

Meteorites: Misconceptions, Reality, and Their Value

With Alex Ruzicka, PhD, Professor of Geology at Portland State University and Director of the Cascadia Meteorite Lab

December 7, 2017 | 7-9PM; Doors Open @ 5PM | 

$5 advance purchase for guaranteed seats; $5 suggested donation at the door. Tickets available online or at the OMSI front desk; see below for details.


Meteorites that start houses on fire. That were seen to come down off towards the horizon, and then picked up by their observers. That can be reliably identified as extraterrestrial rocks by magnetic tests. That were treasured by ancients. That are rare. That are worth so much, one can sell them to get rich and comfortably retire, and live a life of luxury. That are worth so much, one can make a living off them. That provide our best information about how planets and solar systems were put together. That may give humanity important clues to preserve our civilization.


Some of these statements are misconceptions, others represent reality, and some are partly true, partly not true.  But which is which?  And what are the shades of grey? And how valuable are meteorites, really?  What can we learn from them? This talk by Alex Ruzicka will expose misconceptions and tell you what you really need to know about meteorites, those rocks from space that did not originate on the planet(s) on which they are found.


Alex Ruzicka is a Professor of Geology at Portland State University, and the Director of the Cascadia Meteorite Laboratory, which houses the largest public collection of meteorites in the Northwest. He has studied meteorites for roughly 35 years, obtaining an M.S. (S.U.N.Y at Stony Brook) and Ph.D. (University of Arizona) on the subject, and plans additional work in the years ahead. He is a Fellow of the Meteoritical Society, the international group of scientists and meteorite enthusiasts, and also serves as an Associate Editor of Meteoritics & Planetary Science, the flagship journal of the Society. He is a current and former NASA Principal Investigator on various meteorite research and public outreach projects.      


OMSI Science Pub at the Mission Theater will be a ticketed event beginning on October 5. To guarantee a seat at this event, please buy tickets online or at the OMSI front desk. Please show your ticket at the theater entrance upon arrival.


If the event sells out, we will update the website and Facebook listings accordingly. If the event does not sell out in advance, attendance will be first-come, first-served at the door and at-the-door admission will remain a suggested donation.


Science Pub Mission is a monthly event that is open to anyone and everyone – no scientific background required. Just bring your curiosity, sense of humor, and appetite for food, drinks and knowledge! For more information or to sign up for our mailing list, email:


Dinner and drinks will be available throughout the presentation. Please visit the McMenamins Mission Theater website for a dinner menu and venue information.