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Museum showcases objects at Hartsfield-Jackson

Photo by Heather Middleton

Photo by Heather Middleton

Patty Ferguson was waiting for her flight to Spokane, Wash., when she noticed an exhibit of colorful minerals.

Ferguson, a passenger at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, said she noticed the rich, green malachite was similar to what was on her necklace, so she approached the exhibit, entitled "From the Collection of Tellus Science Museum," at Gallery T North at Hartsfield-Jackson.

She said that ever since she got the necklace from a relative she recently visited in Alabama, she has been curious to find out the type of mineral hung from it.

By comparing the mineral on display to the one dangling from her necklace, Ferguson determined it must, indeed, be malachite, she said.

"It [the exhibit] is really interesting," said Ferguson.

The collection of objects from the Tellus Science Museum in Cartersville will be on display at the airport until March 2011, according to Jose Santamaria, executive director of the museum.

"We are delighted for the opportunity," Santamaria said of having pieces from the museum displayed at Hartsfield-Jackson. "We think the exhibit turned out very well."

Santamaria said the exhibit's objects are displayed in five cases at Gallery T North on Concourse T. Each case has a title and contains either natural or man-made objects grouped together by theme, he explained.

"The exhibit includes minerals, fossils and a look at the origins of the science of transportation," said Katherine Marbury, manager of the Airport Art Program at Hartsfield-Jackson.

In addition to the malachite, the first display case, entitled "Kaleidoscope of Minerals," highlights minerals such as fluorite, zeolite and quartz, Santamaria explained.

Santamaria said all of the minerals currently visible in the second display case were mined in Georgia.

"Observers will discover the types of minerals found right here in Georgia," Marbury added. "They'll also learn about the importance of those minerals in making common objects we may use every day."

The third display case, entitled "Geological Wonders," contains volcanic rocks and petrified wood, said Santamaria.

At the fourth display case, entitled "Fossils," Dana Gabel, a passenger at Hartsfield-Jackson, found herself mesmerized by a fossil of a baby psittacosaurus embedded in a rock.

"I think it is amazing," Gabel said of the exhibit. "We don't have things like this in Columbus, Mont."

Other fossils that are showcased inside the "Fossils" display case are replicas of a velociraptor's skull and a mammoth's tooth, as well as fossils of several invertebrates, said Santamaria.

Some of the items in the final display case, entitled "Science in Motion," include a prototype of a steam airplane engine and a motor bike manufactured by Shaw.

"They are over 100 years old," said Santamaria.

Julian Gray, curator of the Tellus Science Museum, said the exhibit was designed to fit the needs of passengers in the bustling airport. He said the objects displayed are placed alongside brief descriptions to accommodate passengers on the go.

"We wanted something that would grab their attention," Gray said.

On the net:

Tellus Science Museum: www.tellusmuseum.org

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport: www.atlanta-airport.com