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|Need More Input? Check Out Our Selection of Books and Videos for Rockhounds!
- Product Reviews
- The UVTools M100 Ultraviolet Light Kit
- GemOro Stereo Microscope
- Meiji Techno Binocular and Trinocular Stereo Microscopes
- Raynox Video MicroExplorer
- The Photo-Atlas of Minerals CD
- OsoSoft MineralLabel 5.0 - Now Freeware!
- Belomo 10x Loupe: An Inexpensive Russian Triplet
- $8 BIRI Russian Radiation Detector
- 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
Curiosity Finds Conditions Once Suited For Ancient Life On Mars: An analysis of a rock sample collected by Curiosity shows ancient Mars could have supported living microbes. The data indicate the Yellowknife Bay area the rover is exploring was the end of an ancient river system or an intermittently wet lake bed that could have provided chemical energy and other favorable conditions for microbes. The rock is made up of a fine-grained mudstone containing clay minerals, sulfate minerals and other chemicals. This ancient wet environment, unlike some others on Mars, was not harshly oxidizing, acidic or extremely salty.
Curiosity Marks First Martian Year: Curiosity completed a Martian year - 687 Earth days - on June 24, 2014, having accomplished the mission's main goal of determining whether Mars once offered environmental conditions favorable for microbial life.
Curiosity Wrapping Up Waypoint Work: Portions of powdered rock collected by drilling into a sandstone target last week have been delivered to laboratory instruments inside Curiosity, and the rover will soon drive on toward its long-term destination on a mountain slope.
Curiosity Rover Drills Sandstone Slab on Mars: Portions of rock powder collected by the hammering drill on Curiosity from a slab of Martian sandstone will be delivered to the rover's internal instruments.
"Windjana" Looks Good for Drilling: Curiosity has used several tools to examine the candidate site including a wire-bristle brush - the Dust Removal Tool - to clear away dust from a patch on the rock.
Drill Here?: The team operating Curiosity Mars is telling the rover to use several tools to inspect a sandstone slab being evaluated as a possible drilling target. If this target meets criteria set by engineers and scientists, it could become the mission's third drilled rock, and the first that is not mudstone.
Curiosity Images Asteroids: A new image from Curiosity Mars rover is the first ever from the surface of Mars to show an asteroid, and it shows two: Ceres and Vesta.
Curiosity May Drill Martian Butte: Scientists are eyeing a rock layer surrounding the base of a small butte, called "Mount Remarkable," as a target for investigating with tools Curiosity's robotic arm. A site on this middle unit may become the third rock that Curiosity samples with its drill.
Images From Curiosity Include Bright Spots: Images taken by Curiosity Mars rover include bright spots, which are most probably due to the sun glinting off a rock or cosmic rays striking the camera's detector.
Curiosity Scoping Out Next Study Area: Curiosity has reached a vantage point for its cameras to survey four different types of rock intersecting in an area called "the Kimberley," after a region of western Australia. The mission's investigations at the Kimberley are planned as the most extensive since Curiosity spent the first half of 2013 in an area called Yellowknife Bay.
Curiosity's Next Stop Has Sandstone Variations: Variations in the stuff that cements grains together in sandstone have shaped the landscape surrounding Curiosity and could be a study topic at the mission's next science waypoint.
More Curiosity in the News
|Opportunity Rover Mission Updates:
|July 01, 2014:
|| Opportunity Rover Uses Arm to Study Several Rocks and Takes Panoramic Images
|June 30, 2014:
|| Opportunity Has Enough Energy for Some Late-Night Work
|June 17, 2014:
|| Imaging Mars' Moon Phobos
|June 11, 2014:
|| Opportunity Exploring the West Rim of Endeavour Crater
|June 06, 2014:
|| Opportunity Recovering From Flash Memory Problems
|May 29, 2014:
|| Opportunity Corrects its Spacecraft Clock
|May 22, 2014:
|| Busy Week of Activities on Several Rock Targets
|May 16, 2014:
|| Opportunity Explores Region of Aluminum Clay Minerals
|May 07, 2014:
|| Aluminum Bound
|April 30, 2014:
|| Reset and Recovery
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."
Peru's Petrified Forest: Tucked high in the Andes Mountains of northern Peru is a remarkable fossil locality: a 39-million-year-old petrified forest preserved in nearly pristine condition. Since its discovery, scientists and other concerned citizens have been working to study and preserve the spectacular site and its unusual and diverse fossils.
World's Biggest-ever Flying Bird Discovered: Scientists have identified the fossilized remains of an extinct giant bird that could be the biggest flying bird ever found. Pelagornis sandersi was an extremely efficient glider, with long slender 20-24 foot wings that helped it stay aloft despite its enormous size.
Rare Fossil Eggs Reveal How Pterosaurs Lived: The spectacular discovery of three dimensional 120-million year old pterosaur eggs provides a unique insight into the ancient flying reptiles' lifestyle. Until now, only four pterosaur eggs had ever been found, and all were flattened during the process of fossilisation.
Original 'Early Bird' Really Could Fly: Archaeopteryx - considered Earth's oldest-known bird - was completely capable of flying, a new analysis of fossil remains has found. The findings dispel suggestions the creature's feathers were too weak to support flight.
Animals Built Reefs 550 Million Tears Ago: Researchers have discovered that one of the world's oldest reefs - now located on dry land in Namibia - was built almost 550 million years ago by the first animals to have hard shells.
Salt Water On Titan: Scientists analyzing data from NASA's Cassini mission have firm evidence the ocean inside Saturn's largest moon, Titan, might be as salty as Earth's Dead Sea.
Staking a claim: Deep-sea mining nears fruition: Deep sea hydrothermal vent systems contain untapped mineral wealth that would have been beyond any prospector’s wildest dreams just decades ago.
Antarctic Ice Sheet Unstable At End Of Last Ice Age: A new study has found that the Antarctic Ice Sheet began melting about 5,000 years earlier than previously thought coming out of the last ice age - causing rapid sea level rise. The study is particularly important coming on the heels of recent studies that suggest destabilization of part of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet has begun.
First Mass Extinction: Ancient volcanic eruptions in Australia 510 million years ago significantly affected the climate, causing the first known mass extinction in the history of complex life.
New Ichthyosaur Graveyard Found: Geoscientists have documented the discovery of forty-six ophthalmosaurid ichthyosaurs in southern Chile. Among them are numerous articulated and virtually complete skeletons of adults, pregnant females, and juveniles. Preservation is excellent and occasionally includes soft tissue and embryos.
Kapteyn B May Be Wet: Astronomers have discovered two new planets orbiting a red dwarf that is only 13 light years distant to our own sun. One of these planets orbits Kapteyn's Star at the right distance to allow liquid water to exist on its surface, a key ingredient to support life.
Habitable Planets Search Deflated By Stellar Wind: The hunt for habitable planets beyond the Solar System just became more difficult. A recent study suggests that the same factors that make planets near M-dwarf stars easy to probe for potential life also diminish the chances that life could actually exist on those planets.
Mars Rocks Wear Manganese Coats: Several rocks on the surface of Mars are coated with distinctive dark-colored surface layers enriched in manganese. Given proposed links between microbial activity and terrestrial manganese coatings, the evidence for high surface concentrations of manganese is an intriguing twist for researchers looking for signs of life on Mars.
Saturn-Like Rings Spotted Around Asteroid: The ring system around the icy asteroid Chariklo is the first found encircling anything in our solar system other than a gas giant.
More Rocks in the News
- 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...
- Letters to the Editor
- 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
- Rock&Gem Feature Article
- More Rock&Gem Online Features:
- Anyone Can Carve
- A Day in the Life of a Gemologist
- Into the Caves - "California's Underground" at the Oakland, California Museum
- Bingham Canyon Copper - Finding Chalcopyrite at "The Richest Hole on Earth"
- Rockhound in Greece - A Great Destination for Geology... and Humanity
- 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
- New England Pegmatites: They Have Been Mined Since America's Earliest Days
- Turquoise: Blue Sky...Blue Stone
- Faceting by Hand: Jack Lahr's Lap-Lap Relies on Primitive Power
- Rock&Gem Magazine Article Search
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Rock&Gem Magazine Show Calendar
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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
- Freeware Screen Savers for Rockhounds: Tucson Show V2001 - Grand Hikes - Minerals V1.0
- Freeware Faceters Companion CD!: Featuring Over 250 Faceting Patterns
- GemCad: Gemstone Design Software
- Ososoft Mineral Label: Freeware Specimen Labeling Software for Rock Collectors!
- RockWare Freeware: Erupt - GeoTrig - Mineral Mastery - Seismic - Magnetic
- Freeware Mars Map: High Resolution Orbiter Camera Global Mosaic
- 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!
- Browse and Download the Freeware Faceters Companion CD
- Currently Featured Article: A Graphical Presentation of Brightness in the Standard Round Brilliant
- Index of Online Faceting Articles - Faceting How-to and Tips from Many Facetors and Gemstone Designers!
- Online Tangent Ratio and Gem Weight Calculators
- Content and Information for Faceters
- Manuals for Vintage Lapidary Equipment
- Need the manufacturer's manual for your estate sale find?
- Greetings from Tucson
- Our Shows, Museums, Clubs, Rock Shops, and Other Attractors
- Tucson Gem and Mineral Show Reports
- Browse the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show with Bob!
- How to Wirewrap
- A Step-by-Step Pendant Design for Faceted Stones that Does Away With Claws
- 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
- Gypsum Rosettes
- 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?
- Cabochon Making 101
- Cabbing with Tucson's Old Pueblo Lapidary Club
- An Introduction to the Feldspar Minerals by Anita D. Westlake
- Purple Passion Prospect
- Wulfenite Collecting near Wickenburg, Arizona
- Rock and Fossil Stamps of the United States
- A Preview Page of the Shop's Topical Stamp Catalog for Rockhounds
- Mineralogical Meanderings
- The Hardness of Minerals and Rocks
- Streaking Minerals - Streak Testing
- Collecting Micrometeorites
- Identifying True Amber
- Some Surefire Signs You're a Rockhound
- Collecting Rock Stamps
- Gem and Mineral Phonecards
- 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
- Dana's New Mineralogy, Eighth Edition
- Encyclopedia of Mineral Names, Special Publication 1 of The Canadian Mineralogist
- Gallery of Mineral Specimen Images
- George Campbell
- Ken Colosky
- Martin Friedlander
- Bob Keller
- David Michaels
- D.E. Russell
- Tim Schmanski
- Stuart Wilensky
- Wayne State University
- Ron Zeilstra
Rock Knives by Stephen Hill
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