generally meets the third Wednesday of each month, August through May.
We now meet in Penn State's Earth and Engineering Sciences Building, on White Course Drive off North Atherton Street.
See driving directions and campus maps.
All are welcome to attend our meetings!
Parents must provide supervision of minors.
Mineral collectors and rockhounds, earth scientists and dinosaur lovers will all enjoy our activities.
Thank you to all who attended or helped present our Minerals Junior Education Day on April 7. 172 children and their parents attended, and we felt it went very smoothly.
NMS April 18th meeting:
Rock Samples from Space
Professor Emeritus Earth & Planetary Sciences
Santa Barbara City College
Our April meeting will be held Wednesday the 18th in 114 Earth & Engineering Sciences Building (EESB) on the west side of the Penn State campus in State College, PA. Maps are available on our web site.
6:45 to 7:45 p.m.: Social hour, refreshments in the hallway
7:45 to 8:00 p.m.: announcements, questions, answers
about 8:00 p.m.: featured program
The event has free admission, free parking, and free refreshments, and is open to all; parents/guardians must provide supervision of minors. Bring your friends and share an interesting evening!
Meteorites are “free” samples from space. They have been of increasing importance to scientists in the areas of Solar System origin and evolution, early planetary composition, the geologic history of the Earth and Moon, and the History of Life. More recently, they have been extremely important in stellar evolution.
As our knowledge of our solar system’s asteroids increases, so does finding the parent bodies of the meteorites which strike the Earth and other planets. There will be many different examples of meteorite types to examine toward the end of the evening. Personal samples of meteorites for display are welcome. Keep your impactites for May...
NMS May 16th meeting:
Asteroids and Comets: Dark threats
Dr D.P. "Duff" Gold
Professor Emeritus of Geology
The emphasis of this talk is on recognition of astroblemes (impact scars), and development of a scale involving size and associated magnitude of energy transfer. The objective is to gain some idea of frequency through deep time, and speculate on “risk.” The reality of “large events” was demonstrated in real-time on July 16, 1994, with the impact of Shoemaker-Levy 9 cometary fragments on Jupiter.
Very few of us would consider “space debris” as a hazardous agent when discussing large natural disasters such as hurricanes, tropical storms, earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions. The closest we come is the Volcanic Energy Index (VEI), adapted to units of “energy transfer” expressed in megatons of TNT in a highly brissant explosion. Appreciate that the volcanic explosive eruptions of Krakatoa (August 27, 1883), estimated to have ejected 46 km3 (11 cubic miles) of debris into the atmosphere is rated a 6 on the VEI (~220 megatons), and the Tambora eruption (April 10, 1815), which ejected 150 cubic kms (36 cubic miles) of ash and pumice, has a VEI rating of 7. Both greater than the Tunguska air-blast explosion (estimated >60 megatons) of an ~100 ft diameter comet head, over a remote part of Siberia on June 30, 1908, are amongst the greatest explosions recorded by man. The Tunguska explosion that levelled 200 km2 (770 square miles) of taiga forest, is attributed to an approximately ~100 ft diameter comet head exploding in the atmosphere. This scale is open-ended; with known asteroid packing sufficient kinetic energy to match the rotational energy of the earth, and initiate “ocean boiling” events. We will touch on the co-lateral damage such as nuclear winter, climate change and mass extinctions and briefly compare hazardous event risks.
We plan to have samples of unique shock metamorphism (shatter-cones, suivite, pseudo-tachylite breccias, and melts, tektite, desert glass and KT boundary ash) on display.
DRIVING DIRECTIONS and PARKING for Earth & Engineering Sciences Building meetings on the Penn State campus (NOT Minerals Junior Ed. Day): After 5:00 p.m. and on weekends, free parking is available immediately across the street from the building. From North Atherton St. (Business Rt. 322) between College Avenue and Park Avenue, turn west (toward the golf course) off North Atherton at the traffic signal marked "White Course Drive." Go past the parking attendant's booth, follow the curve to the left, then turn right into the parking lot before reaching the stop sign. The building entrance is a little beyond the center of the lot, at the crosswalk. Enter the building, then go all the way across the lobby for our social hour & meeting room. We have a simple map at http://www.nittanymineral.org/EESBmap.jpg. For official campus maps see http://www.geog.psu.edu/print-campus-maps .
NMS has in stock the new order of T-shirts in Galapagos blue, Texas orange (both shown here) and royal blue.
A station at our Minerals Junior Education Day
2016: CELESTINE is under consideration for Pennsylvania State Mineral
Collecting crystals in a quarry
We have 2013 (and other) posters for sale!