The Mineralogy Database was last updated on
9/5/2012 and it contains 4,714 individual mineral species descriptions with links and a
comprehensive image library. Visit the "What's
New" section for details.
Each mineral has a page linked to tables devoted to crystallography, crystal structures, X-Ray powder diffraction, chemical composition, physical and
optical properties, Dana's New classification, Strunz classification, mineral
specimen images, and alphabetical
listings of mineral species. There also are extensive links to other
external sources of mineral data and information.
Violent mergers of neutron stars
in binary solar systems likely are the main sources of the heaviest chemical elements in the
In detailed numerical simulations, the ejected matter from merging
neutron stars provides ideal conditions for the relevant reactions of atomic nuclei
to take place, producing the heaviest elements in the correct
On top of all this, we have the Late Heavy Bombardment, a period of time approximately 4.1 to 3.8 billion years ago (Ga),
during which a large number of asteroids and icy comets impacted Earth. It is this event that added
significant amounts of r-process-derived heavy elements
to the Earth's crust and, probably, the Earth's oceans.
It looks like we owe the lead in our car batteries and gold rings on our
fingers to: 1. Neutron star mergers that took place long before our solar system was formed.
2. Fortuitous addition of these elements to the probably heavily depleted
crust left over after these elements migrated to the Earth's iron core.
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