The Ries Crater Museum is regarded as a special geological museum, the contents of which deal with a natural catastrophe which took place about 15 million years ago. The 'Meteorite Crater Nördlinger Ries', which was formed by the impact of an asteroid, is the result of this catastrophe. Along with it, the nearby 'Steinheimer Basin' was formed. These two geological features represent the only two confirmed impact structures in Germany.
The primary task of the Ries Crater Museum is to import knowledge of a geoscientific subject of paramount interest to the visitor comprehensibly, but on the other hand the visiting expert must also be given the chance of occupying himself with the multifarious subject more thoroughly. Therefore, the museum keeps in close contact with relevant scientific institutions at home and abroad to work up their results regarding investigations and research for the museum visitor. This is achieved by actualising the permanent exhibition, publications, guided tours of the museum, and by special exhibitions with present-day subjects.