Dig It: How to Collect Rocks and Minerals (Readers Digest Explorer Guides)

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This specimen is also highly oriented, with a textbook snub-nosed leading edge pictured and a flat back. When I give lectures and slideshows about meteorites to rock and mineral societies, museums, and schools, I always enjoy commencing the presentation by passing around a softball-sized iron meteorite. Most people have never held a space rock in their hands and when someone does pick up an iron meteorite for the first time their face lights up and their reaction is, almost without fail, to exclaim: "Wow, it's so heavy! Iron meteorites were once part of the core of a long-vanished planet or large asteroid and are believed to have originated within the Asteroid Belt between Mars and Jupiter.

They are among the densest materials on earth and will stick very strongly to a powerful magnet. Iron meteorites are far heavier than most earth rocks-if you've ever lifted up a cannon ball or a slab of iron or steel, you'll get the idea. Iron meteorites are subdivided into classes both by chemical composition and structure. Structural classes are determined by studying their two component iron-nickel alloys: kamacite and taenite.


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This remarkable lattice-like arrangement can be very beautiful and is normally only visible when iron meteorites are cut into slabs, polished, and then etched with a mild solution of nitric acid. The kamacite crystals revealed by this process are measured and the average bandwidth is used to subdivide iron meteorites into a number of structural classes.

An iron with very narrow bands, less than 1mm, would be a "fine octahedrite" and those with wide bands would be called "coarse octahedrites. Stone meteorite: Detail of prepared slice of the carbonaceous chondrite Allende, which was seen to fall in Chihuahua, Mexico on the night of February 8, , following a massive fireball. Allende contains carbonaceous compounds as well as calcium-rich inclusions large white circle near center. NASA scientist Dr. Elbert King traveled to the site immediately following the fall, and recovered numerous specimens which were traded with institutions around the world, making Allende one of the most widely studied meteorites.

The Allende meteorite also contains micro diamonds, and is believed to pre-date the formation of our own solar system. The largest group of meteorites is the stones, and they once formed part of the outer crust of a planet or asteroid. Many stone meteorites-particularly those that have been on the surface of our planet for an extended period of time-frequently look much like terrestrial rocks, and it can take a skilled eye to spot them when meteorite hunting in the field.

Freshly fallen stones will exhibit a black fusion crust, created as the surface literally burned during flight, and the vast majority of stones contain enough iron for them to easily adhere to a powerful magnet. Some stone meteorites contain small, colorful, grain-like inclusions known as "chondrules. Stone meteorites that contain these chondrules are known as "chondrites. Space rocks without chondrites are known as "achondrites. Achondrites contain little or no extraterrestrial iron, making them much more difficult to find than most other meteorites, though specimens often display a remarkable glossy fusion crust which looks almost like enamel paint.

Stony-Iron Meteorite: A sea of gold and orange olivine crystals the gemstone peridot lie suspended in a matrix of extraterrestrial iron-nickel in this polished slice of the Imilac pallasite, first discovered in Chile's remote Atacama Desert in When properly prepared, pallasites are among the most alluring of meteorite, and are highly prized by collectors, both because of their rarity and beauty.

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Do we really find lunar and martian rocks on the surface of our own planet? The answer is yes, but they are extremely rare. About one hundred different lunar meteorites lunaites and approximately thirty Martian meteorites SNCs have been discovered on earth, and they all belong to the achondrite group. Impacts on the lunar and Martian surfaces by other meteorites fired fragments into space and some of those fragments eventually fell on earth. Children can place them in right positions.

These are highly comprehensive. Spot the difference book can also train the brain of your child and enhances the observational skills. Children will have to see pictures and find out the differences. These books simplify. English Children Books and activity books are available online and in other stores within a comfortable price range. Please check your phone for the download link. Track my order. Did you mean digging in , virgin in?

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Try Also: in digging in virgin in. Related Categories. Seller Picks. Contact Us. Go where your heart beats. Payment Methods. Delivery Services. Verified by. Today, people travel hundreds of miles to see beautiful rocks shaped like arches, towers, and domes. Rock climbers scramble up tall rocks like Devils Tower in Wyoming.

And rock hounds everywhere collect rocks, minerals, and fossils. See for yourself how much fun it is to be a rock hound. Collect rocks near home or far away.


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Start with the ones that come with this book. Ready, rock hounds? Lets start exploring. Good Places to Collect There are lots of good places to look for rocks, minerals, or fossils. Some of the best ones are: The beach at low tide At the bottom of steep hills or cliffs Along rivers and streams Quarries Outcrops bare rock sticking up out of the ground Road cuts where roads were blasted through rock One great way to find out about good collecting spots is to join a club for rock hounds. Ask a science teacher, librarian, or someone who works in a natural history museum for information about clubs.

Ask the owner if you can collect a few samples. Dont remove samples from national parksits against the law.

Dont litter. You will need ce Dont disturb the animals. Gearing Up You dont need tools to gather loose rocks. To collect pieces of larger rocks, you can use a hammer and chisel to break off samples.

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Carry your samples in a strong bag, such as a backpack. To protect them, wrap each one in newspaper, napkins, or paper towels. Store small samples in empty egg cartons or small boxes. You can find most of these things around your housebut always ask permission before taking or using them. July 17 n Cliffs Hamilto. Use your brush to clean your samples. Paint a white spot on each one and write a number on it in permanent marker, then seal with clear nail polish. In a notebook, write down the number, then describe your sample.


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As your rock collection grows, youll be able to remember where and when you found each one. You may also want to use: A field guide and magnifying glass to identify samples A map and compass to guide you on a collecting trip A sieve or strainer to sift out small samples Hold Everything Rock collectors need a place to keep their samples and show them off.

The easiest display box to make is from an egg carton lined with cotton wool see page 8. Heres an idea for something a little fancier. If the box is deep, cut it down to make it more shallow ask for adult help. Cut strips of cardboard the same depth and length as the box. Cut more strips of cardboard the same depth and width as the box. Cut vertical slits along one edge of each strip, two to three inches apart. Fit the strips together in a grid pattern, using the slits as notches. Line the box with cotton wool, then place the cardboard grid inside, on top of the cotton.

Add samples! Stay Safe You wont be attacked by dinosaurs on a rock-collecting trip, but you might meet up with other dangers. Follow these tips for safe searching. Dont go exploring alone. Take a grownup and a friend or two along. Tell someone else where you are going and when you expect to return. If poisonous snakes live in the area, make sure someone with you knows what to do in case of snakebite.

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When chipping at rocks, wear goggles to protect your eyes from Map flying fragments. Buy safety goggles at a hardware store, or use swimming goggles or a snorkel mask. Protect your head when you are working near cliffs or steep hills. Wear a hard hat such as a bike helmet.

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Protect your hands with sturdy work gloves and your feet with waterproof boots or shoes. Wear long sleeves and pants to protect your arms and legs from scrapes, scratches, and bug bites. Sna kes! The And dont climb y often on cliffs rocks. In hide un. Rock hounds stead of der or a lifting a round straight loose ro up, pull ck it toward need their energy! Wear a hammer, yo k and any eeping the rock u with your snake.