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fly me to the moon special exhibit maine mineral gem museum portland maine international jetport


Second Largest Piece of the Moon on Earth to be on Exhibit
at Maine’s Premier Airport prior to April 8th Eclipse

PORTLAND, Maine. March 11, 2024 — The Portland International Jetport (PWM) in Portland, Maine is about to offer a new “destination” which no other airport in the world can compete: the Moon. More precisely, a new exhibit at PWM will feature the second largest piece of the Moon on Earth. On loan from the Maine Mineral & Gem Museum (“MMGM”), the premier science museum in Maine, the display also features one of the largest pieces of Mars on Earth, samples of the most beautiful extraterrestrial substance yet discovered and an iconic Gibeon meteorite celebrated for its striking resemblance to Edvard Munch’s “The Scream.”

Years in the making, the “Fly Me to the Moon” exhibit opens on March 26th, which is not a moment too soon as it’s just in advance of the upcoming total eclipse of the Sun on April 8th. 

Darryl Pitt, a New York City music industry executive — and among the world’s preeminent meteorite dealers and consultant to the MMGM — conceived of “Fly Me to the Moon.”

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

The award-winning Portland International Jetport is Maine’s largest airport. It’s a premier gateway in and out of Maine and one of the highest trafficked locations in the state. More than 2.2 million passengers went through the Jetport last year creating an economic impact of over $1B dollars. 

“We are thrilled to have ‘Fly Me to The Moon’ at the Jetport,” said Paul Bradbury, Airport Director. “We love celebrating unique aspects of Maine and the MMGM is certainly among them.”

Said Dr. Cari Ciorrigan, the Curator of Meteorites at the Smithsonian,  “This exhibit will be full of beautiful examples of meteorite specimens from the Moon, Mars, and the asteroid 4 Vesta. Having all of these samples on exhibit together in an airport, free of charge to the public, is an amazing educational and inspirational opportunity for those lucky enough to fly through Portland!” 

Located in the mountain town of Bethel, less than 70 miles from Portland, the MMGM contains 17 interactive exhibits and more of the Moon than all of the natural history museums in the world combined.

“As every visitor discovers, the MMGM is not merely a charming stop in a picturesque region of Maine — it’s a world-class museum,” said MMGM executive director, Jessica Siraco.

On April 8th, the 105-mile-wide band that will arc across North America providing a total eclipse for those within it will be within 90 miles of the Jetport. Featuring 18 meteorites, the 20-foot-long exhibit located in the gate area was designed by Paulus Design, Scott Hight and 10-31 Incorporated.

 “Fly Me to the Moon” is scheduled to be on view for five years — not quite as long as the number of years until Maine’s next total eclipse in 2079.

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