Curator (Meteorites)
Chair, Division of Physical Sciences
Curator-in-Charge, Dept. of Earth and Planetary Sciences
Professor, Masters of Arts in Teaching, Richard Gilder Graduate School, AMNH
Faculty, Masters of Arts in Teaching, RGGS, AMNH
Adjunct Professor, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Columbia University
Adjunct Graduate Faculty, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Graduate Center of CUNY

Press Photo 2019

OpenSpace project
Meteorites on Display
Teaching Resources

modeling rock condensation
Lunar Spherules-3D
Meteorites in 2D + 3D
sulfides + sulfosalts
pdf version of CV


The Museum
Ross Hall of Meteorites
Educator Resources for the Hall
Meteorite Collection
Earth and Planetary Sci.
Department of Astrophysics
Education: MAT Program
REU Program

Programs: To apply for Post-doctoral or Graduate Fellowships at AMNH, please go to RGGS FELLOWSHIPS.
To apply for the AMNN Physical Sciences REU program, please see REU APPS.
To learn about our AMNH Master of Arts in Teaching (Earth Science) program, please see AMNH MAT.

Meteorites are pieces of planets, or samples of the material 'left over' from formation of the sun and planets, over four and a half billion years ago. They are clues to the origin of our solar system and planetary systems around other stars. I am a geologist specializing in the study of extraterrestrial rocks and cosmochemistry.

I serve as the curator of the AMNH meteorite collection. AMNH affiliates, students, and I use the collection to understand early solar system processes such as planet formation. Part of our mission is to make meteorite samples available for research by scientists across the world. Collections-based research is vital to the exploration of space and a better understanding of our origins.
(2004 Ebel white paper) Meteorites, Asteroids, Planets, and the Exploration Vision Strategy
(2015 CAPTEM white paper) Astromaterials Research in Planetary R&A

Public outreach, teacher training, and education are part of the Museum's core mission. In 2003, I served as lead curator in reimagining the Museum's magnificent Arthur Ross Hall of Meteorites. I serve as faculty in the AMNH's Master's of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program to strengthen Regents-level Earth Science teaching in New York State, and as science co-investigator on our OpenSpace project to develop visualization software for planetary and space science.

Research in meteorites at AMNH focuses on modeling how gas, solid, and melt phases interact at high temperatures and low pressures, to understand the condensation of the first solids, and molten (liquid) rock droplets in the solar system, precursor materials for the planets. We also apply image analysis to 3-dimensional x-ray CT-scans and microscopic 2D elemental maps of meteorites to understand their chemistry and how they are put together. Check these links to see meteorites in a whole new light: TOMOGRAPHY (3D) and PETROGRAPHY (2D).

My research career began with laboratory investigations of how silver, copper, nickel and platinum-group metal ores form in the Earth, to model their thermodynamic properties, and develop predictive tools. See: MAGMATIC SULFIDES and HYDROTHERMAL SULFOSALTS. Today, we are working on the volatile content of explosive silicic magmas in the AMNH experimental petrology lab.

Contact Information...................................................
Dr. Denton S. Ebel

Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences
phone: (212) 769-5381
The American Museum of Natural History
fax: (212) 769-5533
Central Park West @ 79th Street.
email: [email protected]
New York NY 10024-5192


Press Photo Field Photo Lab Photo
Press Photo: This photo was taken in 2003. The meteorite is the main mass of Johnstown (HED), now on display in the Ross Hall of Meteorites. (Photo credit: Rod Mickens, AMNH)
Field Photo: This photo is from a trip in 1999 to England, to collect supergene lead (Pb) minerals, such as pyromorphite, at ancient Pb-Zn mines. When Pb-acid batteries go bad, it is because of the formation of extremely fine-grained Pb-hydroxide minerals. A better understanding of these minerals, their identity and structure and how they form, could lead to better, longer-lasting batteries. From the larger size crystals of these kinds of minerals, which we hoped to find at these mines, colleagues Ian Steele and Joe Pluth could determine crystal compositions and structures. I just went along for the fun of it, and to carry rocks. (Photo credit: Ed Olsen)
Lab Photo: This photo was taken at the GSECARS beamline 13, Advanced Photon Source, Argonne National Lab (DOE). The optics table holds tomography apparatus circa 2004. X-ray beam from the synchrotron enters from the left. (Photo process credit: Chris Ebel) High-resolution TIFF version (4 MB)
Press Photo (top): This photo was taken in 2010. The meteorite in the background is a Cape York iron, on display in the Ross Hall of Meteorites. (Photo credit: Rod Mickens, AMNH)

Links of interest:
Sorby Natural History Society, Sheffield UK
Meteoritical Society

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Last modified April 17, 2021.