Photo: Darryl Pitt / Macovich

The Second Largest Moon Rock on Earth Is in This Small US Airport

Portland Astronomy Airports + Flying
by Katie Scott Aiton Mar 28, 2024

The second-largest moon rock on Earth is currently on display at the Portland International Jetport, the busiest airport in Maine. It’s on loan from the Maine Mineral & Gem Museum (MMGM), which holds the distinction of housing the largest known pieces of moon rock and Mars (and an impressive collection of lunar meteorites) on Earth at its Bethel location.

The moon rock is a little bigger than a rugby ball and is part of a new exhibit called “Fly Me to the Moon and Mars.” It weighs about 94 pounds and is believed to have originated from an asteroid striking the moon. Eventually, it crash-landed on Earth, though the exact date and location of impact are unknown, it was discovered in Libya in 2021. The showcase features other mineral samples, too, including meteorites from Mars and asteroids.

Second largest moon rock in the world is at Portland International Jetport

Photo: MMGM/Richard Goodbody

The exhibit went on display at the airport on March 26. ABC News reports that organizers joked that this would give passengers a chance to visit the moon.

The display was the brainchild of Darryl Pitt, a New York City music industry executive and among the world’s preeminent meteorite dealers and consultant to the MMGM.

“I love the Portland Jetport, and what better place to provide a peek at the MMGM’s treasures,” says Pitt.

The opportunity to see this moon rock is rare. There are very few large lunar samples outside of research institutions. The MMGM is known for its extensive collection of extraterrestrial materials, and this exhibit offers a chance for the public to get a glimpse of these fascinating objects.

The buzz around the exhibit is also, in part, due to the excitement about the upcoming solar eclipse on April 8. Maine will be in the eclipse path of totality, meaning that some parts of the state (including within 90 miles of Portland International Jetport) will experience a complete blackout of the sun for a brief period.

The fascinating exhibit shall be on display at the airport for the next five years.

Discover Matador

Save Bookmark

We use cookies for analytics tracking and advertising from our partners.

For more information read our privacy policy.