Welcome to the Mineralogical Society of Arizona!

MSA, along with a Coalition of Rock & Gem Clubs, offer several fun and unique Field Trips throughout the year. We host many interesting Programs & Speakers and you are certain to meet new friends among our Rock and Mineral membership.

Refreshments are served at all MSA meetings and attendees have an exciting opportunity to win Great Mineral Raffle Prizes awarded to one Junior, one Adult, and one Visitor. Members who wear their MSA Name Badges to general meetings are also eligible for an additional raffle.

MSA participates in the annual Flagg Gem and Mineral Show in January, Tucson Gem & Mineral Show in February, Pinal Gem & Mineral Show and Minerals of Arizona Symposium in Spring, and Earth Science Day events in Fall.  We look forward to Exploring, Sharing, and Inspiring your participation in our hobby.

Check out the NEWSLETTER for information on meetings, field trips, and other events of interest to Mineralogists and Rockhounds of all ages.

ALERT!!! Be sure to check out MSA website under MSA CLUB for meeting location and time details. Click here for a printable meeting schedule. Meetings are held the second Thursday of the month, except as noted in the meeting schedule at Franciscan Renewal Center, 5802 E. Lincoln Drive, Scottsdale‎ AZ‎ 85253.

New Meeting Format

Junior Members should arrive by 6:40 PM for Junior Education program starting at 6:45 PM.
All other Members can arrive at 7:00 PM with presentation starting at 7:30 PM.
Meetings are held the second Thursday of the month, except as noted in the meeting schedule.
Brief business meeting and raffle after the program, with Refreshments, Silent Auctions, and Buy/Sell/Trade Event.

Contact us via Email: MSAClub1935@msaaz.org

April 11, 2019 Program:“Minerals, Microbes, and Mars” Presented by Dr. Aaron Celestian

Our April 11th program will be presented by Dr. Aaron Celestian on “Minerals, Microbes, and Mars.”  The program covers Dr. Celestian’s research on how minerals interact with their environments and with living things, and how those minerals can be used to solve problems associated with climate change, pollution, and disease. 

Minerals can act as a preservation chamber for biological material.  In this project, he is working with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) scientists to analyze biological materials that have been preserved inside crystals.  This work is founded on Earth analogs in the Great Salt Lake, UT, Searles Lake, CA, and the Boulby Mine in the U.K. where pink halite can be recovered.  The pink color comes from carotenoids that are produced by the halophiles in the waters and in fluids that are trapped in the minerals. He is investigating how to best analyze these minerals for possible planetary exploration, identify the types of bacteria without opening their crystal tomb, and ultimately determine the mineral-microbe ecosystem, which can be a viable habitat for thousands and even millions of years.

 

 

 

 

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DR. AARON CELESTIAN IN MAIN COLLECTION ROOM,
NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM OF LOS ANGLES COUNTY;

Dr. Aaron Celestian photo.

MARS BASIN;
Illustration by Baliee DesRocher

HALITE CRYSTAL CONTAINING FLUID INCLUSIONS AND
REMNANT SKELETAL GROWTH FEATURES;

Dr. Aaron Celestian photo.

HOPPER HALITE CRYSTAL & HALOBACTERIUM;
Illustration by Baliee DesRocher.

Aaron’s goals as a mineralogist and geochemist are to probe the secrets of how Earth materials work using the collections at Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (NHMLA), and to use that resulting understanding to design new materials to solve environmental and human health problems. By deciphering the behavior of minerals at the atomic and molecular levels, he can understand, predict, and even manipulate mineral functionality and properties at the macroscopic scale. Aaron has successfully applied this work to high-level radioactive waste storage and recycling, clean-up of heavy metal contaminated waters, and treatment of hyperkalemia.  For more information about what research Aaron does, please visit his research blog and instagram page.

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Dr. Celestian is Associate Curator of Mineral Sciences at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, Adjunct Associate Professor of Earth Sciences at the University of Southern California, and Affiliate Research Scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.  He earned his undergraduate degree in Geology at the University of Arizona in Tucson, and both his M.S. and Ph.D. were awarded from Stony Brook University in New York.  During his studies at Stony Brook, he was appointed a Visiting Researcher at the Carnegie Institute’s Geophysical Laboratory.  After earning his Ph.D., Celestian taught Environmental Sciences at CUNY Queen’s College for one year and then moved to Western Kentucky University, where he was Associate Professor of Geology and Director of the Advanced Materials Institute until 2015. For the past decade, Celestian has served as Associate Editor for American Mineralogist. 

Dr. Celestian is son of MSA members, Sue & Stan Celestian and we are excited and honored to host his very special program!!!  


Mineral of the Month: RHODONITE - MnSiO₃ By Dr. Ray Grant and Chris Whitney-Smith

Mineral of the Month for April is rhodonite, manganese iron magnesium silicate, (Mn,Fe,Mg)SiO3, a member of the pyroxenoid group. It is commonly massive and compact; crystals are not common and often rough and rounded. The color is pink to brownish red and very often black on the surface as it alters to manganese oxides. The hardness is 5.5 to 6.5 making it a possible lapidary material.

It is formed by hydrothermal processes and contact and regional metamorphism. There are a few Arizona localities, but it is a minor mineral. I found small amounts at the Humbolt Mine in the Chiricahua Mountains and mindat.org has photographs of some from Johnson Camp. The best crystal specimens are from Franklin, New Jersey, Broken Hill, Australia and more recently from Brazil and Peru.

Members are invited to bring one sample from their collection of the mineral of the month and give a brief story about where they collected it or something about the specimen.

***Unknown minerals for identification can still be brought to the meetings***

http://scovilphotography.com

RHODONITE MnSiO, 3.2cm, Conselheiro Lafaiete,
Minas Gerais, Brazil; Dan Weinrich Photo.

RHODONIT MnSiO₃, 6.8cm, Chiurucu Prospect,
Dos de Mayo Prov., Huanuco Dept., Peru;
Kevni Ward Collection, Jeff Scovil Photo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

 


SILENT AUCTION

BRING CASH OR CHECK  AND BE PREPARED TO BID!

AND, DON'T FORGET THE TERRIFIC RAFFLE PRIZES!!!

Visiting Mineralogists & Rockhounds, please get in touch with us!

Trade Minerals
Members please feel free to bring minerals for trade to next MSA meeting.

The Rules of Etiquette
“EYES ON, HANDS OFF”
From Rockhound Record 1942

At the risk of seeming impertinent, exhibitors of minerals will provide good insurance to specimens if they will display, in a prominent place on their exhibit, the rules of etiquette:

1. Never pick up a piece of material unless it is handed to you by the owner.

2. Always handle carefully – as many specimens are valuable and cannot be replaced.

3. If you cannot see the specimen well, ask the owner to show it to you.


Membership Dues are Due!

Please pay at the next meeting or mail to Mineralogical Society of Arizona, 5533 E. Bell Road Suite 101, Scottsdale, AZ 85254.
Membership form & dues amounts are on website under MSA CLUB tab.



arizona, minerals, rock collecting clubs

New MSA Commemorative Pin

Designed by Chris Whitney-Smith, one of our members, in commemoration of MSA's 75th Anniversary in 2010. 

 
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Mineralogical Society of Arizona
5533 E. Bell Road
Suite 101
Scottsdale, AZ 85254

Member of the Rocky Mountain Federation of Mineralogical Societies
Member of the American Federation of Mineralogical Societies

Last Modified May 30, 2017 by Ron Ginn

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