UCLA Meteorite Collection

One of the largest collections of its kind in the United States.

Welcome. The UCLA Meteorite Collection has been assembled by cosmochemist John Wasson and Alan Rubin and their colleagues at UCLA. There are more than 1500 meteorites in the collection. About 100 of these are exhibited in the meteorite gallery.

The UCLA Meteorite Collection

The UCLA Collection of Meteorites is the largest on the West Coast and contains over 2500 samples from about 1500 different meteorites. It is the fifth largest collection of meteorites in the United States and the second largest housed at a university.

Our collection includes the main masses of about 40 meteorites and the type specimens of more than 300 meteorites collected from hot deserts; 60 of these are iron meteorites. Eighty of these meteorite type specimens are from the state of California. These were collected by local citizens during the past few decades, mainly from the playas (dry lakes) scattered around the Mojave Desert.

Some of our meteorites are large and well suited for exhibits (in fact, some of them are exhibited at the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History). However, most of the samples are small and mainly of value for research.

The study of meteorites and the processes that formed them is called cosmochemistry. The cosmochemists at UCLA are among the most productive university researchers in the world. It is thus appropriate that we have one of the best university meteorite collections.

Our Meteorite Gallery, located in room 3697 of the Geology Building, opened in January 2014. The Gallery is open to the public weekdays from 9 am to 4 pm and on Sundays from 1 to 4 pm when it is staffed with volunteer docents. Admission is always free. The current exhibits are gradually expanding as funds and additional samples are obtained. For highlights of the Meteorite Gallery please click here.

We are eager to add meteorites to the UCLA collection. If you have a meteorite collection and are interested in considering a donation, we would like to hear from you. You can contact us here.