crystal mineral news issue 62

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UNESCO recognition
Its official the Sesia-Val Grande Geopark is now recognised by UNESCO, at its centre one of the largest fossils you'll find, a super volcano fossil no less from 282 million years ago, luckily for researchers the innards of the volcano was pushed up during the collision of Europe with Africa enabling a more scientific examination of the normally hidden plumbing of a super volcano.

National Museum of Wales geologists have been studying the bluestones at Stonehenge to determine their origin. Analysis has suggested that the bluestones are from Carn Goedog a mile away in the Preseli hills from what has originally be thought to be the source in Carn Meini. Perhaps archaeological researchers will now be able to find evidence of the Stonehenge quarry they've been searching for the last few years...

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rock and gem magazine issue 62 winter 2013

quantum sensors?!
Not just bling but impure diamonds are now being used to create quantum sensors by manipulating the electrons within them, the science of which maybe beyond the scope of our magazine (Ed. its news team!)

here’s a thought...
Could future valuable mineral exploration change? Geologist Bob Watchorn has collated evidence of gold & nickel mines within impact rings created by huge meteorite landing in Australia more than 2.6 billion years ago.

gold rush, payback time!
Gold rush of 1848 - 1884, we're paying for it now, with tons of mercury being washed into the ecosystem from those early prospectors using the metal to help bind gold particles during their mining activities and it's probably getting worse before getting better with an estimated 10 000 years to go before levels start to drop!
During its journey from the mining areas downstream towards the lowlands of California it's naturally producing Methyl mercury which can be absorbed by plants and animals becoming part of the food chain.

comet, meteorite, ufo?
Not sure whether it's a comet, meteorite, asteroid or even UFO well download the 'Fireballs in the Sky app developed by a team from an Australian University and next time point your device at the origin and destination point, if your lucky the name and further details of the 'fireball' will be sent to you...

martian meteorite
Still sky bound and a previous old and rare Martian meteorite found in the Sahara Desert just got reclassified as being a lot older at 4.4 billion years, this was a turbulent time on Mars being an estimated 100 million years old at the time with lots of volcanic activity and possibly the start of any life (if ever present).

six tails!
Nothing unique about a new asteroid sighting but this one's got six tails, appearing early September till late, researchers think that the space rock was a fragment created from a much larger asteroid perhaps to 200 million years ago. Also keep an eye out for Comet Ison which is heading for the sun and could produce a notable light display.

more from mars
After studying Martian rocks researchers have found zircon from the red planet, which suggests it experienced a similar evolution to earth, having water and an atmosphere at one stage, perhaps life forms as well.

ever populer jet
Examples of 1,600 years old worked jet have been found in a wealthy Roman child's coffin, the two thought to be bracelets were discovered in Leicestershire by Warwickshire Archaeologists.

new research into amber
Extensive research headed up by a researcher from University of Innsbruck included the study of 538 amber samples from worldwide sites, the purpose was to understand the atmospheric conditions on earth for the last 220 million years, amber and plant resins were used in the study, amber being ideal because it hardly changes chemically over huge periods of time.
The conclusion was that oxygen levels were lower than previously thought, down to 10-15% compared with our 21% today, leading to the theory that excess oxygen in the atmosphere was a factor for giant sized dinosaurs to be reconsidered.

still causing trouble!
A carnivore and herbivore locked in combat as fossils known as the Montana Duelling Dinosaurs failed to sell at Bonham's auctions recently it was hoped the sale would reach between $7-9 million but a mere $5.5 million was offered. University researchers suggested they were worthless because it would be a commercial transaction not excavated for further investigation, sounds a little bitter to us!


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