news - issue 69

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meteorite watching

Utilising the FSU National High Magnetic Field Laboratory to study the Gujba meteorite, researchers are convinced that it was formed as a
result of a collision between a large metallic body and planet. The planet though to be larger than the asteroid 4 Vesta (a large dweller within the asteroid belt) reinforcing the meteorites are ‘construction debris of the planets’ statement.

rockngem magazine issue 69

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usa increases production
The USA is hoping to boost its current production of rare earth elements from 6% by using ammonium sulphate/ion exchange extracting the REE’s from low quality coal and coal mining by products. Making the industry less reliant on China’s 85% market share.

microbe gas
Super food for coal seam living microbes, a synthetic dye is being added to coal seams which forms tiny needle like crystals which in turn
enables methane emitting microbes to speed up gas production. Using coal, food waste and other by-products these microbes boast methane production to a level that it’ll impact energy production and sustainability of natural resources.

scotish skies
A last minute addition, folk in Scotland might have seen a meteorite light up the sky at the beginning of the month, St Andrews University
estimate that it could’ve been 10cm in size, it did cause a peak in emergency 999 calls!

Meteorite Skull
Finding a meteorite isn’t always easy but one big enough to carve a 21Kg + skull from is something else, see page 39 for the Bonhams auction skull.

antarctica fossil hunting
Don’t forget that over the next couple of months its summertime in Antarctica particularly the James Ross Island area, one of the few parts of the region which will have exposed rock in the warmer weather, an ideal time for dinosaur hunting, getting there migt be another issue!!

  • Among the fireworks of new year’s eve astronomers also saw a new meteorite shower, named the Volantids its a previously unseen shower which indicates there may be a potentially hazardous comet lurking somewhere!
  • Mesolithic Pendant
    11000 years old shale might have been the go to stone to create your own jewellery. A recent discovey of such a piece at the Star Carr site in Yorkshire has a hole and various lines and marks engraved upon it which also resemble similiar pieces discovered in Scandinavia
  • Finding labradorite on the beach, we heard someone has recently from a beach in the UK...
    have you found anything notable whilst beach combing?
  • Maybe a Tyrannosaurus bataar skull wouldn’t be the 1st fossil you’d think about for a display in your lounge, however it is for Hollywood film stars, apparently Nicolas Cage beat Leonardo DiCaprio to the hammer at a LA gallery auction. Unfortunately, the skull has since been found to have been imported illegally from Mongolia. Doing the right thing once aware, Cage volunteered to return the item to its homeland.
  • The Greek archaeological site of Thorikos is proving challenging for hi tech archaeologists, however some 3200BC an extensive silver mine in the area was inhabited during the early metal ages. However the outlook of the miners must have been bleak with stifling heat, fall ins and low oxygen levels.

  • A mere 13 kiloton explosion compared to the Chelyabinsk 400 kiloton blast, saw the landing of another meteorite, however who noticed except NASA. The said space rock landed ‘quietly and probably unobserved by anyone in the sea some 600 miles off the Brazilian coast.

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To see a list of mineral, crystal, gemstone, fossil shows/events both UK and worldwide visit our show page, if you organise or know of a show please get in touch to list it here.

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