Ohio’s geologic history is remarkable for many earth-bound events, including ancient volcanic eruptions, glaciation, earthquakes, and the profound effects of surface weathering and erosion. But our state also has been shaped by cosmic forces—namely meteorite impacts, both small and large. Such events are reflected by Ohio's geology but they also teach us much about the materials and processes that compose and shape other bodies in our solar system. The study of these bodies and materials from space and their geologic processes is called astrogeology. Specialties within astrogeology include the study of meteorites (called meteoritics) and planetary geology.
Astrogeology applies the principles of geology, geochemistry, and geophysics to matter in our solar system. The lessons learned can be applied to meteorites and tektites; items brought back to Earth, such as lunar samples; and the effects of meteorite impacts, gravitational effects of the tides, and solar and cosmic radiation.
In Ohio, astrogeological research includes planetary geologic and meteoritics investigations at many academic institutions. Astrogeology work by the ODNR Division of Geological Survey includes researching the Serpent Mound Impact Structure and helping to identify meteorites.