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Tag Archives: Minerals

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Context, Calcite and Vikings

The vikings are in the news again, and not just for their new show on the History Channel. I’ve talked about calcite’s amazing optical properties before, but completely failed to mention* the theory that calcite is potentially the same as a tool called the sunstone, rumored to be used by viking navigators to navigate the […]

It came from space… Mineral Friday: Wassonite

Last week, NASA announced that they had formally added a brand new mineral to the mineral books. It’s name is Wassonite (chemical formula: TiS) and it was discovered in a 4.5 billion year old meteorite that was itself discovered in Antarctica in 1969. According to the NASA press release the meteorite is designated ‘Yamoto 691,’ […]

Arsenic crayons

What was your favorite coloring method as a child? Messy finger paints? Magic markers with a tendency to bleed? Or were you a neat and precise colored pencil and crayon kind of kid? What about arsenic? I bet you never thought of that one while you were coloring in landscapes with purple mountain majesty.* Arsenic sulfide (As2S3), or […]

Rocks Turn Paperclip Invisible??

Ugh. Monday. But to brighten up your otherwise dreary beginning of the week, here’s a brand new Mineral Monday! Calcite is our Mineral this week. It’s a carbonate mineral, which means it has the carbonate ion CO3^(2-). Calcite is fun in general, because being a carbonate mineral means that it’s mildly reactive. Dropping a weak acid on […]