Down To Earth

I’ve talked on this site before about how lucky, in this one of the most coldest and miserable weather climates, to have the national museum of Scotland opening it’s doors for the price of a donation only.  Particularly on this day I visited, the post-Christmas and pre-New year period where we all feel a little sluggish but additionally the snow was gently yet solidly falling meaning I looked like a human snowman by the time the proud external statues and the fine building were upon my gaze.

Warm and inviting, I made my way upstairs to the beautifully laid out ‘Earth in Space’ section of the museum.  Somehow with the lights and the layout of the exhibits, it actually conveys the mystery of what is still above our skies, and the high-tech requirements to capture the information create an aura akin to a space movie and children were wondering around wide-eyed at the displays.

I was interested to see a small but recently added temporary display to the side of the main feature entitled ‘DOWN TO EARTH’.  Here a selection of meteorites that had plummeted to earth were on display in glass cabinets adjacent to the technologically aforementioned presentations, their sparse ugly rocks in sterile containers almost the apotheosis to the glamour contained in the adjoining areas but interesting nonetheless.  

The side notes state that between 18,000 – 80,000 meteorites fall on the globe every year.  And yet only four have been recovered in Scotland.  Maybe its because much of the land is made up of craggy aged rock that it’s been hard to identify the stones from a different world.  You certainly must feel sorry for the family in Coupar Angus who had the misfortune of one falling through the roof of their house, with interesting pictures denoting how this would look.

After a wander around to warm up, a quick cuppa in the lovely brasserie and I was on my way.  If you are in town for the New Year celebrations my advice is take advantage of the museum.  Not only are you bound to find something of interest that will expand your mind, it will give you a chance to take respite from the traditionally nippy Edinburgh weather.

Steve Heald – Writing is my passion, contact me on steve_j_heald if you would like me to write for you.