MERIDA, Mexico – The Chicxulub Crater Science Museum will open in this southeastern Mexican city in September, addressing questions regarding the extinction of the dinosaurs and other life forms caused by the impact of a meteorite some 65 million years ago.
The museum will be part of the Yucatan Science and Technology Park (PCTY) complex – some 37 kilometers (23 miles) from Merida, the capital of the same-named Mexican state – and will address the relationship between the meteorite impact and current phenomena, such as global warming.
“The museum’s main theme is the Chicxulub crater and it will be one of the few in the world equipped with laboratories to better understand life on Earth,” Zeus Mendoza Gonzalez, Yucatan’s Secretariat of Research, Innovation and Higher Education and Science and Technology Park liaison, told EFE. “It will be a living museum.”
Mendoza said that the Science Museum will display information about the meteorite “before, during and after the event” that formed the crater.
The Science Museum – currently 70 percent completed – has six finished laboratories that will aid research by the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and the Autonomous University of Yucatan (UADY), as well as the Yucatan Scientific Research Center (CICY).
“The platform will revolutionize science, as the most recent data regarding the crater expedition will be on display,” Mendoza said. “It will have four halls addressing topics regarding the creation and composition of the universe, impact craters, the extinction of the dinosaurs, the appearance of mammals, life and biodiversity.”
He said that the museum will showcase, among other things, the exact location of the impact, jokingly adding that anybody born in Yucatan was born within the Chicxulub crater.
On a map, Mendoza outlined the crater – nearly 200 km wide, half of which is covered by ocean – and said that, according to scientists, it was caused by an asteroid or comet 10-20 km in diameter that fell on what is today the Yucatan town of Chicxulub.