Chicago’s Field Museum, one of the foremost meteorite research facilities in the United States, has a new specimen to examine after a four-pound chunk of cosmic beauty was donated to the institution this week.
The meteorite, donated to the museum by Terry and Gail Boudreaux, fell from the sky in Costa Rica earlier this year, according to a press release. It is a unique specimen, as it’s made with clay and other minerals.
The meteorite also contains organic compounds, including amino acids, which the museum calls the “building blocks of life.”
“Life on Earth probably got its start when compounds like these arrived on the planet via meteorites,” the museum said in a press release.
The four-pound chunk of meteorite donated by the Boudreaux family is the largest one acquired from the specimen, and it will be given to museum officials on Monday.
Researchers plan to study the specimen extensively, but did have one observation already: it smells like Brussel sprouts.