Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Exploring the Solar System with Antarctic Meteorites


  • Title: Exploring the Solar System with Antarctic Meteorites
  • Air Date: June 9, 2016
  • Series: Smithsonian Science How webcasts, which are designed to connect natural history science and research to upper-elementary and middle-school students.

This video features Dr. Cari Corrigan, geologist at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History. Have you ever considered what meteorites reveal about our early solar system? A meteorite is a piece of rock that has come from far away in space and time. Cari analyzes meteorites that have landed in Antarctica to find evidence of the history of planets. See how the structure and composition of each meteorite is interpreted using modern laboratory techniques. Take a journey with Cari to Mars and back to get a new perspective on a planet that once had water like Earth.

Teaching Resources

Antarctic Meteorites and Mars

National Middle School Standards

Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

Earth Science

MS-ESS1 Earth's Place in the Universe

  • MS-ESS1-2: Develop and use a model to describe the role of gravity in the motions within galaxies and the solar system.
  • MS-ESS1-3: Analyze and interpret data to determine scale properties of objects in the solar system.
  • MS-ESS1-4: Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence from rock strata for how the geologic time scale is used to organize Earth's 4.6-billion-year-old history.

Physical Science

MS-PS1 Matter and Its Interactions

  • MS-PS1-1: Develop models to describe the atomic composition of simple molecules and extended structures.

MS-PS2 Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions

  • MS-PS2-1: Apply Newton's Third Law to design a solution to a problem involving the motion of two colliding objects.
Resource Type
Videos and Webcasts
Grade Level
Learning Standards
Next Generation Science Standards
Earth Science, Physical Science