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I’m Joe Botting, the Assistant Curator of Natural Sciences and I look after the geology collections. Welcome to the Life on Earth gallery: this is going to be a tour of the geology part of it so we are just coming in the right hand door, next to the tiger, if you look to your left you will see a grey plinth. This is the beginning of a timeline which runs along the left hand side of the room. This timeline shows the entire history of the Earth, which is about a third of the history of the universe. Immediately to your left you will find a grey plinth which, if you walk around it, it has a strange lump of metal stuck to it.
This is a meteorite and it is the oldest thing that it is possible to touch. It’s approximately four and a half billion years old, it’s made of iron and nickel and the strange lines you that can see all over the surface are crystals of two different forms of iron-nickel. These can only form when it cools incredibly slowly – about one degree every ten million years – which means that this came from the core of a planet. The planet was destroyed by being knocked into by another asteroid and, eventually, a bit of this landed in Mexico several hundred years ago.
about 2 years ago
The first section of a tour around the geology on display at Leeds City Museum. Curator Joe Botting takes you around the Life on Earth gallery.