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Uakitite, newly discovered space mineral


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It's not diamonds raining from the heavens, but a new mineral, uakitite, discovered in a meteroite (kippah tip to Kenya) found by Russian gold prospectors, is hard and rare (I follow news from a couple of Russian geological societies, not because I'm a KGB election-influencing mole on the DNC or RNC payroll, but because some of my family prospected for gold in Russia's eastern provinces prior to escaping that wart on northern Asia's backside and migrating to the good ole US of A).  The uakitite, a mononitride (one nitrogen atom), was one of a dozen or so other space minerals that together composed less than 2 percent of an iron-nickel meteorite found in Baunt Enenk, Republic of Buryatia in 2016.  Researchers with the Sobolev Institute, Novosibirsk State University, and ExtraTerra Consortium, Ural Federal University, say the light-gray mineral has a pinkish tint in reflected light, it was formed at ~1,800F, that it's almost as hard as diamonds (between 9 and 10 on the Mohs), and that uakitite is found as inclusions in two other minerals, where it forms either isometric inclusions or rounded grains.  The small size of the inclusions, <5 μm, made analysis of some physical properties difficult.  Only synthetic boron nitrides (also formed at a high temp) are known to so closely approach the hardness of a diamond.  Cool beans.  (My summary, so inaccuracies are all mine, mine, mine -- Saul).

https://www.hou.usra.edu/meetings/metsoc2018/pdf/6252.pdf

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7 minutes ago, Morlock said:

Mohs scale is almost worthless as it's relative. A scale like brinell or rockwell for minerals would be more useful.

I agree 100%. I fart in Moh's general direction every time I think about the hardness of a mineral. It is all just relative!

But then when identifying a mineral we must differentiate them relative to each other. So we have a conundrum.

I think the takeaway here is that you can pick your prospecting buddies but you are stuck with your relatives. And the sh!t in that meteorite is as hard as he[[ compared to just about anything else. 

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1 hour ago, Morlock said:

Mohs scale is almost worthless as it's relative. A scale like brinell or rockwell for minerals would be more useful.

I agree that there are more useful methods to describe hardness.  Mohs is what the Russian researchers used, though, so we're stuck with it in this case.  And, fortunately or unfortunately, the scale is in such common use throughout the Western world that convincing armchair geologists to use Rockwell would be a task akin to introducing the metric system in the U.S.

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Rockwell and Brinell are only useful for measuring the elastic strength of metals. Won't work on minerals or other non elastic materials. Rockwell is not a true "hardness" scale and doesn't even work well on thin metals or some common alloys.

I'm good with the Mohs relative hardness scale. I would like to see a new standard step scale but to do so would require a logarithmic progression. Mohs already incorporates a natural logarithm that's imprecise but will probably have to suffice until something more regular is defined. If you know of a scale that can actually encompass physical testing of talc and diamond in the same regular scaled system I'm all ears.

As a corollary to the homespun goodness Bob is offering here's a saying from my goat roping days:

You can pick your nose and you can pick your friends but you can't wipe your friends on your saddle.  :89:

Back to the subject, has anyone got a picture of this <5 μm particle? The one they provide isn't very descriptive and doesn't show the pretty pink sheen.

Screen Shot 2018-08-06 at 10.12.34 AM.png

Seems determining hardness on something that small would lead to difficulties with brownian motion and fumble finger principles. Maybe it was really just a piece of the micro chisel that broke off and got mixed in with the other microscopic particles.

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25 minutes ago, homefire said:

Wonder what other Useful Properties it has and CAN WE MAKE IT ?

 

Humans have been making vanadium nitride for more than 100 years. This is just the first instance of vanadium nitride found in a natural form.

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The exact hardness of a material makes a big difference in science. For a fellow trying to identify a rock not so much. If an identification hinges on knowing the exact level of hardness alone the difference in the minerals could only be of importance to a scientist. 

For prospectors and rockhounds it is enough to know the basic principles of determining hardness to aid in identification. A novice can use hardness to differentiate quartz from calcite for example. But the actual spot on any scale of hardness would be quite unimportant to most guys in the field identifying minerals. 

I have used hardness thousands of times to help determine the identity of a mineral. Not once has it ever mattered where exactly that mineral was on Moh's scale or any other. It was the concept of relative hardness that was the useful tool and not the scale that was used. In the field you don't use any "scale" at all. You use a pocket knife, a piece of glass or a piece of "flint" to make a ballpark determination by poking or scratching. You can conceptualize hat hardness as an integer on a scale. Or you can simply be happy with "this one is harder than calcite would be". 

So however you want to conceptualize hardness, and regardless of which system of measurement you would like to use, similar minerals are differentiated by their hardness relative to one another. If one scratches the other it is harder and that is just about all you are going to need to know in the field. 

 

 

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31 minutes ago, clay said:

Humans have been making vanadium nitride for more than 100 years. This is just the first instance of vanadium nitride found in a natural form.

Generally we take minerals and make something out of their elements. Homie wants to take elements and make minerals. Although I can't imagine why, it does seem to make some sort of twisted logic. Any sense it may make seems to be ethereal images that I just cant seem to bring into focus. 

I am going to think about this one for a few hours and get back to you Clay. We may have a gold mine here making vanadium nitride for industry by melting down  Harleys and Kenworth trucks.

If that does not pan out we will continue with our plan to make cotton fields out of old used tee shirts. :)

 

Edited by Bedrock Bob
Because lapses in logic make for the best satire!
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7 minutes ago, homefire said:

Wonder what other Useful Properties it has and CAN WE MAKE IT ?

We synthesize boron nitrides.  Uakitite might have similar usefulness.  BNs make for a wonderful stropping paste (used for finishing edges on microsurgical tools in some parts of the world), and are also useful for giving a high polish to hard metals and gems and lenses and mirrors.  I'd imagine it will be found possible to synthesize uakilite, too.  It's composed of pretty common stuff, no exotic isotopes, not even any particularly rare elements, just a byproduct of high-temperature decay of sulphides (oxygen would certainly be unwelcome to the process).  Ha!  If you get rid of the nitrogen, the formula seems suspiciously similar to the Japanese chrome-vanadium kitchen knives sets sold in early TV infomercials back in the '70s -- no wonder the U.S. steel industry tanked, when the Japanese were using super-secret mega-hard meteoritic minerals to manufacture cutlery. 

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49 minutes ago, clay said:

Back to the subject, has anyone got a picture of this <5 μm particle? The one they provide isn't very descriptive and doesn't show the pretty pink sheen.

Given the location of the researchers, it's entirely possible the pretty pink sheen was an unintended product of vodka red eye.

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1 minute ago, Saul R W said:

We synthesize boron nitrides.  Uakitite might have similar usefulness.  BNs make for a wonderful stropping paste (used for finishing edges on microsurgical tools in some parts of the world), and are also useful for giving a high polish to hard metals and gems and lenses and mirrors.  I'd imagine it will be found possible to synthesize uakilite, too.  It's composed of pretty common stuff, no exotic isotopes, not even any particularly rare elements, just a byproduct of high-temperature decay of sulphides (oxygen would certainly be unwelcome to the process).  Ha!  If you get rid of the nitrogen, the formula seems suspiciously similar to the Japanese chrome-vanadium kitchen knives sets sold in early TV infomercials back in the '70s -- no wonder the U.S. steel industry tanked, when the Japanese were using super-secret mega-hard meteoritic minerals to manufacture cutlery. 

I think I have a cheap wrench set from the moons of Taiwan under the seat of my Land Cruiser.

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16 minutes ago, Saul R W said:

Given the location of the researchers, it's entirely possible the pretty pink sheen was an unintended product of vodka red eye.

It wasn't the Russians O.K.? It could have been anyone, even some fat guy. No one interfered with the lovely pink sheen. No collusion! It's a WITCH HUNT!!! The Democrats colluded with the Russians and made that mineral pink. I still don't know where the servers are. Where are the servers! BENGHAZI!!!!!!!!!!

Edited by Bedrock Bob
Just kidding Saul. We know it was the Russians.
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Just now, Bedrock Bob said:

It wasn't the Russians O.K.? It could have been anyone, even some fat guy. No one interfered with the lovely pink sheen. No collusion! And I still don't know where the servers are. Where are the servers! BENGHAZI!!!!!!!!!!

If it wasn't red-eyed Russians, then who?  Next thing you know, someone will claim that "pink sheen" is a mistranslation of Finklestein.  Trust me, we were nowhere near the servers, who were busy catering a Long Island wedding.

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22 minutes ago, Saul R W said:

Some of those cheap wrenches work long good time.

It would be a shame to melt them down and make minerals out of them, huh? Then we would probably have to make meteorites out of the minerals to satisfy Homie. And then maybe even  loft them into orbit and allow them to fall. Who knows where this is going to wind up?

And what if they made polishing powder out of all the meteorites containing uakilite? We would be giving up our cheap wrenches to make meteorites that will polish the rich man's tool to a brilliant sheen!

It seems like this mineral making idea is not the way we need to go. Just too many social implications. I will keep my cheap wrenches and Harley frames. The guys that want to shine up the rich man's ratchet can donate vanadium molecules and nitrogen atoms to fulfill their dream but I will remain independent!

Edited by Bedrock Bob
Free the elements from corporte elitism!
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Bob, I know about a lot of Chit !  I know More chit about some chit then the other chit.  Ell I know more chit  about chit then most people in the country but even I know I don't know all the Chit about chit.  I never heard of this chit and claim Ignorance on the chit.  But all that being said Now I can add this chit to the list of chit that I know a bit of  chit about !

 

Thank You People !

Edited by homefire
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41 minutes ago, Saul R W said:

If it wasn't red-eyed Russians, then who?  Next thing you know, someone will claim that "pink sheen" is a mistranslation of Finklestein.  Trust me, we were nowhere near the servers, who were busy catering a Long Island wedding.

The radical fundamentalist Jews did it I tell you! They are behind all of this illuminati conspiracy stuff. Probably in cahoots with the Russians as well as those shifty little Mexican devils. They all have a secret handshake and are in on the "Mineral Mafia" you know. They have been trying to kidnap the element niobium for years!  

It makes sense that uakilite would be a target. 

I think Homefire might be one of them. He advocates making minerals out of elements. What more evidence do we need?

Think about it Saul. He is sympathetic to their cause. He is at best an unwitting pawn, at worst a mineral pimp for the Calcite Cartel. I heard he had a commie flag pinned up in his garage! We may be dealing with the enemy here. I honestly do not think we should let him out of our sight. If he makes any strange movements at all we just get rid of him pronto. No use taking any chances with this guy. 

Edited by Bedrock Bob
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1 hour ago, Saul R W said:

We synthesize boron nitrides.  Uakitite might have similar usefulness.  BNs make for a wonderful stropping paste (used for finishing edges on microsurgical tools in some parts of the world), and are also useful for giving a high polish to hard metals and gems and lenses and mirrors.  I'd imagine it will be found possible to synthesize uakilite, too.

Been there done that.

Vanadium Nitride (uakitite) is generally immediately available in most volumes.

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33 minutes ago, Bedrock Bob said:

The radical fundamentalist Jews did it I tell you! They are behind all of this illuminati conspiracy stuff. Probably in cahoots with the Russians as well as those shifty little Mexican devils. They all have a secret handshake and are in on the "Mineral Mafia" you know. They have been trying to kidnap the element niobium for years!  

It makes sense that uakilite would be a target. 

I think Homefire might be one of them. He advocates making minerals out of elements. What more evidence do we need?

Think about it Saul. He is sympathetic to their cause. He is at best an unwitting pawn, at worst a mineral pimp for the Calcite Cartel. I heard he had a commie flag pinned up in his garage! We may be dealing with the enemy here. I honestly do not think we should let him out of our sight. If he makes any strange movements at all we just get rid of him pronto. No use taking any chances with this guy. 

Also, he does business with Red China.  Buys batteries from them, even.

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19 minutes ago, Saul R W said:

Also, he does business with Red China.  Buys batteries from them, even.

Pinche Chicoms!  The Shanghai connection! I knew it! He is the Calcite Cartel!

I knew there was something a little strange about that guy. I met him one day at the Flea Market in Deming and he looked a little off to me. He was trying to sell me a lump of coal saying it was a rare proto-diamond. Tried to get me to sell him a bag of Columbium. I thought he was BLM back then. Now we know he is in a whole lot deeper. Probably an Azerbaijani operative with close ties to Putin.

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2 hours ago, Bedrock Bob said:

Pinche Chicoms!  The Shanghai connection! I knew it! He is the Calcite Cartel!

I knew there was something a little strange about that guy. I met him one day at the Flea Market in Deming and he looked a little off to me. He was trying to sell me a lump of coal saying it was a rare proto-diamond. Tried to get me to sell him a bag of Columbium. I thought he was BLM back then. Now we know he is in a whole lot deeper. Probably an Azerbaijani operative with close ties to Putin.

Bob if you used the Lupe like I said ya would have seen it.  Eaaaa?  

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On 8/6/2018 at 8:14 PM, clay said:

Rockwell and Brinell are only useful for measuring the elastic strength of metals. Won't work on minerals or other non elastic materials. Rockwell is not a true "hardness" scale and doesn't even work well on thin metals or some common alloys.

I'm good with the Mohs relative hardness scale. I would like to see a new standard step scale but to do so would require a logarithmic progression. Mohs already incorporates a natural logarithm that's imprecise but will probably have to suffice until something more regular is defined. If you know of a scale that can actually encompass physical testing of talc and diamond in the same regular scaled system I'm all ears.

As a corollary to the homespun goodness Bob is offering here's a saying from my goat roping days:

You can pick your nose and you can pick your friends but you can't wipe your friends on your saddle.  :89:

Back to the subject, has anyone got a picture of this <5 μm particle? The one they provide isn't very descriptive and doesn't show the pretty pink sheen.

Screen Shot 2018-08-06 at 10.12.34 AM.png

Seems determining hardness on something that small would lead to difficulties with brownian motion and fumble finger principles. Maybe it was really just a piece of the micro chisel that broke off and got mixed in with the other microscopic particles.

 

20180805_141830-1-1-2.jpg

DSC01726-1-1.jpg

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