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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.
Rover Drill Pulls First Taste From Mount Sharp: Curiosity has collected its first taste of the layered mountain whose scientific allure drew the mission to choose this part of Mars as a landing site. The rover's hammering drill chewed about 2.6 inches deep into a basal-layer outcrop on Mount Sharp and collected a powdered-rock sample.
Curiosity Arrives at Mount Sharp: Curiosity has reached the Red Planet's Mount Sharp, a Mount-Rainier-size mountain at the center of the vast Gale Crater and the rover mission's long-term prime destination. Curiosity is starting this process at an entry point near an outcrop called Pahrump Hills, rather than continuing on to the previously-planned, further entry point known as Murray Buttes.
Mars Rover Team Chooses Not to Drill 'Bonanza King': Evaluation of a pale, flat Martian rock as the potential next drilling target for Curiosity determined that the rock was not stable enough for safe drilling. The rock, called "Bonanza King," moved slightly during the mini-drill activity at an early stage of this test, when the percussion drill impacted the rock a few times to make an indentation.
Curiosity Prepares for Fourth Rock Drilling: The team operating Curiosity has chosen a rock that looks like a pale paving stone as the mission's fourth drilling target, if it passes engineers' evaluation. They call it "Bonanza King."
Two Years and Counting on Red Planet: During its first year of operations, Curiosity fulfilled its major science goal of determining whether Mars ever offered environmental conditions favorable for microbial life. During its second year, Curiosity has been driving toward long-term science destinations on lower slopes of Mount Sharp.
Curiosity Nears Mountain-Base Outcrop: As it approaches the second anniversary of its landing on Mars, Curiosity is also approaching its first close look at bedrock that is part of Mount Sharp, the layered mountain in the middle of Mars' Gale Crater.
Images Show Laser Flash on Martian Rock: Flashes appear on a baseball-size Martian rock in a series of images taken by the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) camera on the arm of Curiosity. The flashes occurred while the rover's Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) instrument fired multiple laser shots to investigate the rock's composition.
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.
More Curiosity in the News
|Opportunity Rover Mission Updates:
|October 02, 2014:
|| Opportunity Preps for Comet Siding Spring Encounter
|September 27, 2014:
|| Opportunity Heading to a Small Crater Called 'Ulysses'
|September 23, 2014:
|| Back to Driving
|September 12, 2014:
|| Flash-Memory Reformat Successful!
|September 03, 2014:
|| Flash-Memory Reformat is Underway
|August 29, 2014:
|| Flash-Memory Reformat Planned
|August 21, 2014:
|| Opportunity Suffers a Series of Resets
|August 12, 2014:
|| Ground Control Restored Quickly After Reset
|August 07, 2014:
|| Opportunity Heads to 'Marathon Valley'
|July 31, 2014:
|| Opportunity Holds the Off-Earth Driving Distance Record
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."
'Sailing Stones' Mystery of Death Valley Solved: Racetrack Playa is home to an enduring Death Valley mystery. Littered across the surface of this dry lake are hundreds of rocks - some weighing as much as 700 pounds - that seem to have been dragged across the ground, leaving synchronized trails that can stretch for hundreds of meters. The rare combination of events causing the rocks to move is now known.
Exceptionally Well Preserved Insect Fossils From The Rhône Valley Found: Now, for the first time, researchers have found fossil insects in the French equivalent of the Tithonian Konservat-Lagerstätte lithographic limestone - discoveries which include a new species representing the oldest known water treader.
World’s Largest Dinosaur Discovered: The newly discovered dinosaur species Dreadnoughtus schrani makes Tyrannosaurus rex look like a munchkin. The towering behemoth, which stretched a bit longer than a 25-meter swimming pool and as tall as a two-story building, weighed more than seven T. rexes. And the animal was still growing.
What Happens When A Volcano Erupts Under A Glacier?: Nobody will really know the answer to that until Bárðarbunga actually erupts.
Neanderthal 'Hashtag' Carving Found In Cave: The hashtag may be a symbol of modern life, but its origins can be traced back to Neanderthal carvings. Scientists have discovered the first evidence of artwork by this species etched into the walls of a cave in Gibraltar.
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.
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
- Search Back Issues for Articles with Topics of Interest
- Rock&Gem Writer's Guidelines
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
Sections from Brian Isfeld
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