Pyritohedral, Cubic and Diploid Pyrite Crystals
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Philae Lander Touches Down on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko
Rosetta Comet Mission Could Change Science Forever
Comet 67P Shows No Sign of Magnetism: If astronauts ever go on a walkabout around a comet, they can leave their compasses at home.
Rosetta Fuels Debate on Origin of Earth's Oceans: The Rosetta spacecraft has found the water vapour from its target comet to be significantly different to that found on Earth. The discovery fuels the debate on the origin of our planet's oceans.
Rosetta Orbiter Continues Into Its Full Science Phase: With the Philae landerís mission complete, Rosetta will now continue its own extraordinary exploration, orbiting Comet 67P/Churymov-Gerasimenko during the coming year as the enigmatic body arcs ever closer to our Sun.
Philae Completes Main Mission Before Hibernation: Just prior to depleting its batteries and falling silent, Philae returned science data from its instruments, including ROLIS, COSAC, Ptolemy, SD2 and CONSERT, completing the measurements planned for the final block of experiments on the comet's surface.
How (And Where) Is Philae?: Many of Philae's key instruments have been activated and are autonomously running while the lander is out of radio contact with the Rosetta orbiter. Collecting their precious data hinges on the state of Philae's exhausting batteries when Rosetta's orbit returns it above the comet's horizon.
Philae Lander Is Frantically Doing Improvised Science As Its Batteries Die: Less than two days after its historic landing, Rosetta's probe may be reaching its final hours, and the scientific team is racing to collect as much data as possible before Philae's batteries run out. It's do or die, and at this point there's very little to lose in terms of its lifespan.
Philae's Battery Might Die Soon: The lander isn't getting enough light to recharge its pack.
Comet Lander Stuck against Bottom of Shady Cliff: Philae's solar panels will get just three hours of light per day, hindering Philae's science goals.
Rosetta: Concerns For Comet Lander After Uneven Landing: After a historic but awkward comet landing, the robot probe Philae is now stable and sending pictures - but there are concerns about its battery life. After two bounces, the first one about 1km back out into space, the lander settled in the shadow of a cliff, 1km from its target site.
Three Touchdowns For Rosetta's Lander: The lander remains unanchored to the surface at an as yet undetermined orientation. The science instruments are running and are delivering images and data, helping the team to learn more about the final landing site.
Rosetta: Waiting Game After Comet Lander Glitch: Data indicates that the Philae lander may have bounced twice, taking a full two hours to come to a rest.
Philae Lander Stable on Comet, for Now: Philae seems to have landed, bounced and then settled back down again, even though its harpoons apparently failed to secure the craft to the surface.
Philae Lander Touches Down On Comet 67P: Philae has landed. The Rosetta orbiter on Wednesday 11.12.14 dropped a spidery, three-legged robot the size of a small refrigerator and watched as it tentatively set down on a comet - the first time that the surface of these primordial balls of dust and ice has ever been explored.
- Alone No More
- Martian Meteorite ALH84001 Harbinger of Extraterrestrial Life
- Check out Bob's Martian Touchdown - A Rockhound's Cosmic Encounter with Three Extraterrestrials
- Curiosity on Mars
- The Landing: Another Small Step for Man - A Giant Leap for Robot Kind
- The Landing Site: The Geological Jackpot at Gale Crater
- Curiosity: The Escalade of Mars Rovers
- The Science Payload: Rock Zappers and the Search for Biosignatures
- Want to Know More? References and Further Reading
Picture Perfect Proof That Mars Once Had Wet Seasons: Curiosity has imaged cross-bedded sandstones at the edge of a location called Hidden Valley, providing compelling photographic evidence there were regular cycles of water carrying plumes of river sediments flowing into the lake which once filled Gale crater.
Curiosity Tracks Sunspots: Curiosity is monitoring sunspots on the side of the sun facing away from Earth, during weeks when sun-monitoring spacecraft can't provide that information.
Curiosity Studies Rock-Layer Contact Zone: At the rover's current location near "Marias Pass" on Mount Sharp, Curiosity has found a zone where different types of bedrock neighbor each other. One is pale mudstone, like bedrock the mission examined previously at "Pahump Hills." Another is the "Stimson unit" a darker, finely bedded sandstone above the Pahrump-like mudstone.
Mars Conjunction: The teams running NASA's three active Mars orbiters and two Mars rovers will refrain from sending commands to their spacecraft from about June 7 to June 21, 2015. During that period, the sun will be within two degrees of Mars in Earth's sky and radio communications with the orbiters and rovers will be impaired.
Curiosity's Laser-zapping Instrument Gets Sharper Vision: Tests have confirmed success of a repair to the autonomous focusing capability of the Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) instrument on Curiosity. This instrument provides information about the chemical composition of targets by zapping them with laser pulses and taking spectrometer readings of the induced sparks.
Curiosity Adjusts Route Up Martian Mountain: Curiosity has just climbed a hill on slopes as steep as 21 degrees to approach an alternative site for investigating a geological boundary, after a comparable site proved hard to reach.
Curiosity Views Serene Sundown on Mars: Curiosity used its Mast Camera (Mastcam) to record the sunset during an evening of skywatching. The sunset observations help researchers assess the vertical distribution of dust in the atmosphere.
Quick Detour by Curiosity Checks Ancient Valley: Curiosity made observations and measurements there to address questions about how the channel formed and filled. Curiosity then resumed driving up Mount Sharp, where the mission is studying the rock layers.
Curiosity Making Tracks and Observations: Curiosity is approaching a new geological formation with high-standing buttes called the Washboard unit, and has surpassed 10 kilometers in total distance driven on Mars.
Curiosity's Weather Data Bolster Case for Brine: Martian weather and soil conditions that Curiosity has measured, together with perchlorate detected by Curiosity and previously by the Phoenix lander in Martian soil, could put liquid brine in the soil at night.
Curiosity Eyes Prominent Mineral Veins on Mars: Two-tone mineral veins at a site Curiosity has reached by climbing a layered Martian mountain offer clues about multiple episodes of fluid movement. These episodes occurred later than the wet environmental conditions that formed lake-bed deposits the rover examined at the mountain's base.
More Curiosity in the News
|Opportunity Rover Mission Updates:
|July 02, 2015:
|| Opportunity Gets Back to Work
|June 25, 2015:
|| Opportunity In Good Health After Communication Blackout
|June 19, 2015:
|| Opportunity Remains in Solar Conjunction Communication Blackout
|June 07, 2015:
|| For Next Three Weeks, Opportunity in Quiet Period of Operations
|June 05, 2015:
|| Opportunity Ready for Solar Conjunction and Period of Curtailed Operations
|May 26, 2015:
|| Preparing for Solar Conjunction
|May 19, 2015:
|| Opportunity Restored to Normal Operations After a Reset Error
|May 18, 2015:
|| Exploring the 'Spirit of St. Louis' Crater
|May 08, 2015:
|| Opportunity Getting Ready to Enter 'Spirit of St. Louis' Crater
|April 28, 2015:
|| 4,000+ Martian Days of Work on Mars!
|April 23, 2015:
|| Opportunity on the Lookout for Dust Devils!
|April 16, 2015:
|| Robotic Arm Gets Busy on Rock Outcrop
Rocks in the News
Images of Pluto: 'Houston, We Have Geology': Pluto is being revealed as an intriguing new world with distinct surface features in images captured by NASA's New Horizons spacecraft as it flies by.
Discovery Of Ancient Stone Tools Challenges Story Of Mankind: Found in desert badlands near Lake Turkana in Kenya, the 3.3 million year old tools include sharp-edged flakes that could have been used for cutting meat from animal carcasses and rudimentary hammers perhaps used to pound open nuts or tubers. They are 700,000 years older than any other such stone tools ever found.
Deciphering Clues To Prehistoric Climate Changes Locked In Cave Deposits: It turns out that the steady dripping of water deep underground can reveal a surprising amount of information about the constantly changing cycles of heat and cold, precipitation and drought in the turbulent atmosphere above.
First Dinosaur Fossil Discovered In Washington State: The first dinosaur fossil discovered in Washington state is a 16.7 inch long portion of a femur leg bone from a theropod. Researchers discovered the fossil while collecting ammonite fossils along the shores of Sucia Island State Park in the San Juan Islands from a marine rock unit known as the Cedar District Formation.
Killer Cockroach Trapped In Amber: Beautifully preserved in amber collected in Myanmar, the 'Crane Giraffe' cockroach lived 100 million years ago during the age of the dinosaurs. A predator, Manipulator modificaputis was like no other cockroach, past or present.
Is There Life Out There?: Researchers who have modeled planetary systems far beyond our own solar system have found that massive moons larger than Mars might be the best bet in the search for life beyond Earth.
Storms And Microbes Are Behind The Mystery Of The Wandering Stones: The 'sailing' stones of Death Valley in California are famous for apparently moving by themselves. Researchers theorize that wind from winter storms generates currents that can push the stones over a slickened surface colonized by microbes.
Sudden Onset Of Ice Loss In Antarctica: Multiple glaciers along a vast coastal expanse, measuring some 750km in length, have suddenly started to shed ice into the ocean at a rate of 60 cubic km, or about 55 trillion litres of water, each year.
Mercury Was Magnetic Four Billion Years Ago: Scientists have found evidence of a four billion year old ancient magnetic field on Mercury, according to new data from NASA's Messenger mission. The scientists made their discovery by examining data from a series of low altitude orbital passes undertaken by Messenger at heights often less than 50 kilometres above Mercury's crater-strewn surface.
Great Dying Caused By Ocean Acidification: The Great Dying - the largest mass extinction of all time - was likely triggered by a massive volcanic event that resulted in the acidification of the world's oceans, according to new research.
Early Earth Collision Could Clear Up Two Geological Mysteries: Two outstanding, seemingly unconnected geology problems - the unexpected ratio of two neodymium isotopes in terrestrial rocks and the energy source for the dynamo that creates Earth's magnetic field - could be solved by a single new theory.
More Rocks in the News
Utah Goblin Topplers Sentenced To Probation : Glenn Tuck Taylor and David Benjamin Hall may have to shell out thousands to pay for warning signs telling future visitors to Goblin Valley State Park to leave the rocks alone. The men were sentenced to a year of probation without jail time and payment of restitution after pleading guilty to knocking over an ancient rock formation in the state park.
Ex-Boy Scout Leaders Charged With Felonies: It just took a little push to topple the delicately perched boulder - millions of years in the making - in Utah's Goblin Valley State Park. Then the man who did it laughed, high-fived his son, and flexed his muscles while being cheered on by a fellow Boy Scout leader. He is not likely celebrating now, nor is his friend who videotaped then publicized the episode, after both were charged with third-degree felonies.
Boy Scouts Toss 2 Leaders Who Knocked Over Goblin: A northern Utah Boy Scouts council has announced that former Boy Scout leaders Glenn Taylor and Dave Hall will no longer be allowed to lead scouting troops as a result of their vandalism of Goblin Valley State Park.
Boy Scout Leaders Destroy Ancient Formation In Utah's Goblin Valley: Boy Scout and Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints youth leaders Dave Hall, Glenn Taylor and Dylan Taylor are potentially facing felony charges for destroying a rock formation nearly 200 million years old. The trio of vandals was adventuring in Utah's Goblin Valley State Park when they decided to film themselves knocking over one of the formations, known as "Goblins."
- Drilling Down Into The Deepwater Horizon Disaster
- What Happens When British Petroleum Executives Spill Coffee
- What Happens When British Petroleum Funds Congressional Election Campaigns
- Why This Is Going To Happen Again...
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- Say NO to Akaka Governed Public Land: A bitter legislative battle is raging over collecting fossils on public lands.
- Chambers Fit For A Queen - A Quest For English Ammonites
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- Honoring Mr. Jones - Our Senior Editor Gets What He Deserves
- Faceting Fascinates - With an Experienced Guide, You, Too, Can Bring Gemstones to Life!
- Tonopah and Goldfield - They Were the Hub of Nevada's Gold Rush
- Agates from the Land of Pumas and Craters
- Mexico's Mystery Stone
- A Lesson in Channel Work
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- Turquoise: Blue Sky...Blue Stone
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- Software for Rockhounds
- Mineral Database and Identification Software: Photo Atlas of Minerals - Lithos - MinSearch - MDI Mineral Database - Geolib - Topaz - Minrls - Digital Rockhound's Companion
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- Rock Identification Key
- A Beginner's Guide and Key to Help You Identify and Put a Name on That Rock!
- Learn to ID and Distinguish Basalt, Diabase, Diorite, Gabbro, Granite, Obsidian, Pumice, Rhyolite, Scoria, Gneiss, Marble, Quartzite, Schist, Serpentinite, Slate, Breccia, Conglomerate, Limestone, Sandstone, Shale...
- Mineral Identification Key
- An Online Guide and Key to Aid in the Identification of Field Collected Mineral Specimens
- Covering Several Hundred of the Most Commonly Occurring and Collected Species
- Crystallography and Mineral Crystal Systems
- An Illustrated, Nine-Part Primer on Crystallography and Mineral Crystal Systems
- Mineral Nomenclature: Naming New Minerals
- So You've Discovered a New Mineral and Want to Name It "Spottite" After Your Dog...
- Changes In Mineralogical Nomenclature: Varieties
- Why Rock Scientists Won't Understand the Question When You Ask "What mineral is amethyst a variety of"?
- Grand Hikes
- A Virtual Tour and Rockhound's Hiking Guide for the Grand Canyon
- Stromatolite Fossils in the Hakatai Shale - A Day Hike from Phantom Ranch
- Comanche Point Vicinity - An Overnight Hike to Spectacular Grand Canyon Supergroup Views
- Genesis V2.0 - God's Grand Work Week - A Grand Canyon Geology Primer
- The 1869 Expedition - An Account of the First Grand Canyon Float Trip
- Grand Hikes Screen Saver V1.0 - A Complimentary Grand Canyon Screen Saver
- Bob's Grand Canyon Backcountry Equipment Checklist - Don't Leave Home Without It!
- A Faceted Gemstone Design for CZ Inspired by the Pleiadians - Designed by Bob Keller
- Perfect Transfer
- Interested in Faceting? Check Out this Feature for Faceters!
- Featured Cut: Rose Egg 168a-96 - A Rose Cut Egg
- Gateway to Gemstone Designs on the Internet - Download Over 300 Faceting Diagrams with Cutting Instructions!
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- Currently Featured Article: A Graphical Presentation of Brightness in the Standard Round Brilliant
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- Sworn to Fun
- A Club President's Perspective on the Decline of Rockhounding
- Featured Articles by John Betts
||Advice for Beginners
Anthony's Nose, New York
A Field Guide to Mineral Collectors
Mineral Prices: Why so High?
|Dealing with Dealers
Largest Mineral Crystals on Record
Display Lighting of Minerals
- The Great Fresnoite Discovery of 1998
- Scott's Big Score in California's San Benito Mountains
- Rockhounding Graves Mountain
- Collecting Rutile and Other Minerals at this Famous Georgia Locality
- Collecting at the Bunker Hill Mine
- Ron and Rose-Marie's Most Excellent Bunker Hill Mine Adventure
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- Collecting at the Red River Floodway in Winnipeg, Canada
- Micromounter's Mecca
- A Visit to the Micromounter's Swap Room at the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show
- Check Out Tim Jokela's The Top Ten Reasons to Get Into Micromounting
- Anatomy of a Three-Headed Sphere Machine
- Interested in Rolling Your Own?
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- An Introduction to the Feldspar Minerals by Anita D. Westlake
- Purple Passion Prospect
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- Rock and Fossil Stamps of the United States
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- The Mysterious Power of Gemstones and Crystals
- Bob's Rock Shop 1st WWW Specimen Image Contest Results!
- Do You Take Pictures of Rocks? If So, You'll Appreciate These - Check Out the Winning Entries!
- Winners competed for custom specimen mounting, mineral specimens, rockhound magazine and newsletter subscriptions, specimen labeling and mineral database software and more... These and other outstanding entries will also be featured in a new version of the Shop's ever popular freeware specimen image screen saver!
- Book and CD Reports
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