Feeds

Lunar mineral turns up in Oz

Tranquillityite spotted in WA rocks

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Until now, the mineral tranquillityite – consisting of iron, zirconium, yttrium, titanium, silicon and oxygen, and almost completely useless – has only been observed in rocks brought back from the glory days of the moon landings. Now, a team of scientists in Western Australia has found it for the first time in Earthbound samples.

Of the three minerals first observed in lunar basalts collected by Apollo astronauts, only tranquillityite had not since been spotted on Earth; armalcolite and pyroxferroite both turned up within around a decade of the moon landings.

The Curtin University / University of Western Australia team searched igneous rocks in that state, seeking out samples that hadn’t undergone large-scale metamorphic changes because tranquillityite is easily transformed into other minerals by heat and pressure.

The reddish-brown tranquillityite was discovered in rocks found at the Eel Creek Formation in the north-eastern Pilbara Craton – in other words, a long way from anywhere – where rocks from Archean Earth (more than 2.5 billion years old) can be found.

Electron scanning with an ion microscope was used to identify the distinctive scattering patterns tranquillityite produces, according to Science Now.

While economically useless, the researchers (Birger Rasmussen and Courtney Gregory of Curtin University, Janet Muhling and Alexandra Suvorova of the University of Western Australia) believe tranquillityite will be useful in helping to determine the age of other rocks.

“Where sufficiently coarse, it represents an exceptional new U-Pb geochronometer,” they note in the abstract of their paper published in Geology.

Given how many real moon rocks have been lost by NASA, it can only be a matter of time before frauds and fakers start dying in the Pilbara while looking for their own tranquillityite samples to pass off as the real thing. ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Most Americans doubt Big Bang, not too sure about evolution, climate change – survey
Science no match for religion, politics, business interests
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
LOHAN and the amazing technicolor spaceplane
Our Vulture 2 livery is wrapped, and it's les noix du mutt
Liftoff! SpaceX Falcon 9 lifts Dragon on third resupply mission to ISS
SpaceX snaps smartly into one-second launch window
STEALTHY NANOROBOTS dress up as viruses, prepare to sneak into YOUR BODY
Cloaking techniques nicked from viruses tackle roadblocks on way to medical frontier
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
prev story

Whitepapers

Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.