Location: Mufreesboro, AR
Location: Mufreesboro, AR
It's been awhile since the last post, but here is a small but interesting new piece all the way from Arkansas - the Natural State. From the Crater of Diamonds State Park in Mufreesboro, AR this yellow-dotted rock tells the story of how the volcanic crater formed and why the park is known for all its diamonds. Those yellow/green spots are actually small pieces of the Earth's upper mantle (called macrocrysts) which are made out of olivine. Deep, deep down in the Earth's mantle (150+ km down - the crust is a max of 50km thick and the deepest humans have drilled is 12 km) diamonds are formed under the immense pressure. Lamproites like this (along with a similar mineral kimberlite) are able to transport diamond-bearing rocks to the surface - but do not contain the diamonds themselves.
Location: Wingdale, NY
Details: many small pieces
The first specimen from the geological collection is actually a collection of small garnets. I got this small bag of garnet grains for free a few years back at a Mineral, Fossil, and Gem show in Syracuse, New York. Its chemical formula is Fe3AL2(SiO4)3, making it a silicate. You can clearly see the distinctive red color that garnets are so well known for, in the photo above. It was collected in Wingdale, Dutchess County, New York by Wingdale Materials. I got it a few years back so it was probably collected around 2007-2009, 2009 is the most likely.
Details: mineral unknown
So nothing too notable today, in fact I don't even know what this rock/mineral is. You see a few years back, in either 2009 or 2008, there was a yard sale in Newark, New York where a couple of collectors were downsizing their collection as they were moving. This meant high-quality, large, and a big selection of specimens to choose from. I'll be posting more from this collection later on, and will have the actual name of the collection it used to belong to.
Jockey's Ridge Sands
Location: Nags Head, North Carolina
Details: largest Eastern US sand dunes
So today is one of my favorite geological pieces in my museum, sands from the largest sand dunes East of the Mississippi River. A few years back, 2006 I believe, my family and I went on a vacation down to the Outer Banks, North Carolina. The Outer Banks, encompasses a few towns, most notably Kittyhawk where the Wright Brothers had their first flight (I also got to check out where they flew). One of those towns is Nags Head which contains these massive sand dunes. Jockey's Ridge State Park is where they are mostly located so we spent some time there and it was pretty awesome. Though there is a ton of sand, and it gets everywhere, and you start sinking into it as you walk.
Locatin: New York, USA
Details: has garnets
I haven't posted up any of the more display type minerals yet so here is one of them, albeit a tad boring due to it's lack of color. This is called Wollastonite, named after W.H. Wollaston, and has the chemical formula of CaSiO3, making it a silicate. It was originally retrieved from somewhere in New York, but judging from the fact that it is made in metamorphic processes I'm guessing the Adirondack Mountains area. I purchased it at a Rock and Gem show in Newark, New York and picked this guy out because of how similar it looks to salt and pepper. Thought it was an interesting specimen. The fact that it has those garnets also leads to my belief that it was found in the metamorphic region of the Adirondacks.
Details: unknown mineral
So, today is just a boring post. It's a geode that I've had since sometime in Elementary School, so it's been in my collection for a long time. But anyway, when I first got it it was completely closed and I had to smash it open myself. It isn't the greatest specimen (the crystalline structure isn't that spectacular inside), but it is always cool to be the first person to see what the geode looks like on the inside.
Details: rock unknown
Sorry Sholesonian patrons, but I have been quite busy this past week and literally have not had the time to write out any posts. It is now finally Friday, so I have a bit of time to write up this post that was supposed to be for Wednesday, but studying got in the way. Now unfortunately, today's specimen has no locality or identification information at all because I purchased it at the same Newark, New York yard sale that I got the 'Peach Fuzz' piece from. So there were plenty of cheap large and interesting rocks/minerals but most no longer had any sort of label making them essentially worthless for a museum but very nice to look at and useful for teaching.
Cinnabar in Calcite
Well it's been about a month since I last posted something from the Geological Collections so here you guys go, it's not 'pretty' by any means but is somewhat interesting. Now this particular mineral specimen is known as Cinnabar as is a mercury sulfide, being that its chemical composition is HgS. cinnabars are normally more reddish in color but can also be transparent/translucent like this particular piece. But this chunk is actually cinnabar in calcite, which is actually another fairly clear mineral.
So I hope everything went well over the weekend for those who celebrated Christmas and I got a brand new camera that has a super zoom and focus so expect some very nice pictures for the smaller objects in the museum. Also, it has a nice feature that allows me to draw a line and it gives me an exact measurement of how long it is. So I grabbed the first thing I saw in the museum that had a label and presto I present you a nice Red Mica specimen up from our neighbor to the North: Canada.
Oh wow, so apologies again for not posting in awhile but I've basically been gone all week. But last week I went to the King Tutankhamen exhibit down at Times Square then headed over to the American Museum of Natural Historyfor the rest of the day. It was quite awesome and I'd tell you all to check out the exhibit, but it closes tomorrow and then Tut's artifacts are going back to Egypt to stay. But in March, Discovery is having a Pompeii exhibit starting in March so hopefully I'll be going to that as well.
The Sholesonian is an online museum databasing all the unique, scientific, and interesting things I've found over the years. Every week I'll be posting up at least one new item to the collection along with a little tidbit on what it is. Enjoy!