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#1017398 - Fri Oct 25 2013 10:13 AM Re: Digital Microscopy [Re: mehaul]
mehaul Offline
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TYVM and Happy just-past or upcoming Birthday!
_________________________
"...Tomorrow's come a long way to help you."
Tim Davis 'Your Saving Grace' Steve Miller Band (1969)
"...Yesterday's at least a mile back."
Dale Peters 'Dreaming in the Country' James Gang (1971)

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#1017532 - Sat Oct 26 2013 08:28 AM Re: Digital Microscopy [Re: mehaul]
mehaul Offline
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To be fair to the gemstone (showing its inclusions earlier was like showing a lady in her soft underthings) I should present an image of the Speassartite as it might be seen in normal vision. Here it is at x5 and no inclusions can be seen. It is a beautiful Orange Garnet I am proud to be associated with. Hopefully, this will stop it yelling at me when I'm trying to get to sleep.
_________________________
"...Tomorrow's come a long way to help you."
Tim Davis 'Your Saving Grace' Steve Miller Band (1969)
"...Yesterday's at least a mile back."
Dale Peters 'Dreaming in the Country' James Gang (1971)

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#1017542 - Sat Oct 26 2013 10:24 AM Re: Digital Microscopy [Re: mehaul]
mehaul Offline
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Here's a list of the objects shown so far's origins or discovery locations:

Aquamarine (AQU-37) - Erongo, Namibia

Brochantites (BRO-20 & BRO-21) - Mex-Tex Mine, Hansonburg Mining District, Socorro County, New Mexico

Mimetite (MIM-22) - Level 13, Mina El Potosi, Santa Eulalia, Chihuahua, Mexico

Spessartine (SPS-11) - Fujian Province, China

Fluorite (FLU-167) - Rogerly Mine, England

Turquoise (TUR-51) - Competos Mine, Sonora, Mexico

Opal (OPA-52) - Lightning Ridge, New South Wales, Australia

Hemimorphite (HMI-17) - Level 8 San Antonio Mine, Santa Eulalia, Chihuahua, Mexico

Spessartite Gem - Sri Lanka

Wulfenite (WUL-46) - Los Lamentos, Chihuahua, Mexico

Wulfenite (WUL-41) - Rowley Mine, Theba, Maricopa County, Arizona


Edited by mehaul (Fri Nov 08 2013 10:30 PM)
_________________________
"...Tomorrow's come a long way to help you."
Tim Davis 'Your Saving Grace' Steve Miller Band (1969)
"...Yesterday's at least a mile back."
Dale Peters 'Dreaming in the Country' James Gang (1971)

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#1017675 - Sun Oct 27 2013 07:02 AM Re: Digital Microscopy [Re: mehaul]
mehaul Offline
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Here is the Wulfenite flake that appeared curved-edge to my normal eyesight. At x25 magnification it can be seen along the image's right side that mechanical fracturing may have changed a square edge to a round one. What a shame, too. This flake is about a centimeter in diagonal size (IOW, huge). The top side shows a definite straight edge heading down and right; while the bottom of it shows a straight edge going up to the right before the breaking begins. The clear, transparent nature of the mineral can be seen. It almost looks like an orange or caramel glaze which has hardened. Should I lick it to see if it has a taste? I don't think I should since Wulfenite is made of Molybdenum and Lead. The Lead would be sweet, or so they say and I'll take 'their' word for it. <((A good reason to keep mineral specimens out of the reach of children. Many of the crystals look like candy of some sort and can be poisonous.))>
_________________________
"...Tomorrow's come a long way to help you."
Tim Davis 'Your Saving Grace' Steve Miller Band (1969)
"...Yesterday's at least a mile back."
Dale Peters 'Dreaming in the Country' James Gang (1971)

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#1018069 - Tue Oct 29 2013 05:05 AM Re: Digital Microscopy [Re: mehaul]
mehaul Offline
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This is a piece of a geode. The mineral of note is the black Strengite. I see two other compounds that grew here. This indicates that the geode opened to solution and closed. Then opened to a different solution and then closed again and then did that cycle for a third time! The first growth was when the Herkemer-ish quartz crystals, which cover all the surfaces of the specimen's inside, were laid down (Note that none of the color, whether clear, purple, rose or smoky can be seen). The neat hexagonal terminations can be seen largely in the center one and minutely in several other underlying crystals. They were followed by a brief growth of Limonite which covered all the crystals in an orange shaded druse. The final and smallest exposure was of the Strengite which only deposited and grew in the area seen here. Isn't it kinda like that larger quartz crystal was set as a sentinel against future invasions after the Limonite was allowed in?
The image is at x15 under the Scope's LEDs.
Edit: Sorry the image isn't that great of an intriguing one.


Edited by mehaul (Tue Oct 29 2013 06:17 AM)
_________________________
"...Tomorrow's come a long way to help you."
Tim Davis 'Your Saving Grace' Steve Miller Band (1969)
"...Yesterday's at least a mile back."
Dale Peters 'Dreaming in the Country' James Gang (1971)

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#1018269 - Wed Oct 30 2013 05:28 AM Re: Digital Microscopy [Re: mehaul]
mehaul Offline
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Calcium Carbonate, CaCO3, usually found as a white mineral, is called Aragonite. This name comes from the fact that the minerals appeared as the eflorescence left as an ancient aragonite sea dried up, much like Sodium Chloride, NaCl, or salt, forms near ocean beaches. This specimen is from Morocco and many of the Aragonites found there are of this orange/brown shade. Must have been something in that sea's water, something it drank. It points to the fact that there used to be (~10,000 yrs ago) many inland seas across the north of Africa where today there is nothing but desert. Some unusual element must have dissolved into the seawater to cause the color difference. (My guess is that it was an abundant element, Iron, and its rusty hue is what we see in the otherwise colorless compound, but that is just a guess)
This is a relatively soft mineral measuring under 4 on the Mhos scale. And that probably accounts for the transverse fracture lines we can see in this truncated rod specimen. The overall specimen is about the size of a golf ball and there are about a hundred such truncated rods. This is the largest one at about 5mm across. The image is taken at x25. I cheated on the color a bit by adding my one red LED to the scope's eight white ones. Call it the costume this rock is wearing for Halloween.
I was set on the mission to acquire this specimen by a question at Fun Trivia about what Aragonite is!

Edit: I took my rare earth magnet to the specimen and there was no reaction to the magnetic field. However, that is not a definitive no to Iron's presence. Had it reacted, it would have been positive for Iron. There are some forms of Iron (stainless steel for example) that are not magnetic, so Iron in the mix cannot be ruled out.


Edited by mehaul (Wed Oct 30 2013 11:53 AM)
_________________________
"...Tomorrow's come a long way to help you."
Tim Davis 'Your Saving Grace' Steve Miller Band (1969)
"...Yesterday's at least a mile back."
Dale Peters 'Dreaming in the Country' James Gang (1971)

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#1018642 - Fri Nov 01 2013 06:47 PM Re: Digital Microscopy [Re: mehaul]
mehaul Offline
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One of the first minerals mined by man, Malachite (Cu2CO3(OH)2). It was prized by the early mid-east civilizations for the Copper that could be melted out of it. This specimen (MAL-65) is from the opposite side of Africa, indicating the ubiquity of the mineral. Its source was the Tsumeb Mine, Tsumeb, Namibia. Most of the yield is from underground and the crystals form from copper rich water flowing across seed crystals (or so says the Great Wiki of Woz from behind his curtain).
The magnification here is the maximum my handheld will go to, x45. And still, the tiny size of the individual crystals can be seen. Each white point is the reflection of the scope's lights off a crystal facet. There seems to be a healed horizontal fracture running across the middle of the image. Maybe an earthquake cracked the specimen which then was washed with more Copper solution. The stone feels very lightweight and is very coarse in texture. This image is from one of the broader level areas. The darker greens of the top part of this image is more representative of the stone's general coloring. This might be a nice candidate for me to image on my digital bench scope at around x100. Someday...
_________________________
"...Tomorrow's come a long way to help you."
Tim Davis 'Your Saving Grace' Steve Miller Band (1969)
"...Yesterday's at least a mile back."
Dale Peters 'Dreaming in the Country' James Gang (1971)

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#1019137 - Mon Nov 04 2013 02:21 PM Re: Digital Microscopy [Re: mehaul]
mehaul Offline
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Upper left to bottom right of this specimen is about one centimeter in this x25 mag image of some Apophyllite-(KF). There's a story in that name or a question from me to the geologists that sit on panels and decide on names for these things: "What was wrong with just Apophyllite?" If you are going to add the distinguishing KF to it: "Why use both a dash and the parentheses?"
Anyway, in this image the blade growth habit of APOPHYLLITE can be seen. It doesn't grow at random angles like the Wulfenite flakes do, but build themselves along the sides of an adjacent, larger crystal. Usually they keep the same color throughout the crystal lattice. But here we can see a collector's dream of an oddity in some minerals: a change in color from one end to the other. Tourmaline is the most famous for doing this. I can accept that my specimen here goes from deep green on the older parts of the left to almost clearly transparent at the pointed growths on the right. The -(KF) is intended to set it apart from two other types of similar KCa4Si8O20(F,OH)·8(H2O). Umm, they want this to be called Fluorapophyllite because it fluoresces under black light and the other two don't! If F is for the Fluorine with its strange light qualities, why worry about the Potassium part in that addendum? Chemists...!

Edit to Add: This (APO-67) is from the Jalgaon District of the western-central state of Maharashtra, India, a country that is noted as a major source of green Apophyllite


Edited by mehaul (Mon Nov 04 2013 02:33 PM)
_________________________
"...Tomorrow's come a long way to help you."
Tim Davis 'Your Saving Grace' Steve Miller Band (1969)
"...Yesterday's at least a mile back."
Dale Peters 'Dreaming in the Country' James Gang (1971)

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#1019521 - Wed Nov 06 2013 07:52 PM Re: Digital Microscopy [Re: mehaul]
mehaul Offline
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Okay here's a tie-in to the prior gem. The earlier Apophyllite was found in an area once ruled by Augranzeb of Maharashtra who had some excellent gems of his own. One of the largest cut Topazes is a 158 carat yellow stone he possessed. Mine is smaller and from neighboring Pakistan (the Kathang Mine, NWFP, around the Khyber Pass).
The Al2SiO4(F,OH)2 specimen here isn't that large. But, the yellow gemmy part is about the size of a grape! It is the top of a hexagonal crystal 1.5 inches in length and the yellow part is the terminating 1/2 inch. Oh, that's another tie in to the previous mineral. Grown from lower right toward upper left, it changes abruptly from a cloudy white almost instantaneously in geologic terms into the clear yellow. The termination is damaged, accounting for the curvy aspect to the faces of it. At a Mhos hardness of 8, I wonder if it is damaged or actually grew that way.
If you go to Topaz in Wikipedia my TOP-64 looks like a sister stone to the legend image but only that top left part and the bottom white part. Who knows, they may have come from the same pocket! Does anyone watch "Prospectors" on The Weather Channel? They find nothing but gem pockets in the Rockies of Colorado.


Edited by mehaul (Fri Nov 08 2013 04:38 PM)
_________________________
"...Tomorrow's come a long way to help you."
Tim Davis 'Your Saving Grace' Steve Miller Band (1969)
"...Yesterday's at least a mile back."
Dale Peters 'Dreaming in the Country' James Gang (1971)

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#1019827 - Fri Nov 08 2013 10:51 AM Re: Digital Microscopy [Re: mehaul]
mehaul Offline
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Live and learn. Live and learn. Sometimes, it seems the more I live the less I learn. I went to inspect my Pyrophyllite specimen. PHY-3 is mostly three sizable smoky Quartz crystals of exceptional quality that has lots of barnacley growth on it like the Spessartine specimen. As I unwrapped the item I found that two of the quartz rods had separated from the larger one. Darn! I didn't see much to photograph so I wrapped them back up in the polyethelene and back to its box home it went. Then I noticed that some very glassy flakes the size of pinheads had appeared on my wooden desktop.
This led me to find out why the thing had broken and gone flakey in the first place. Well, Pyro-phyllite means fire-leaf in Greek. It was called so from the times of the Greeks because they found it flaked apart almost just by looking at it (it comes in under 2 on the Mhos scale). You can see in a couple of these flakes that if they catch the light just right, they brighten like they were on fire in white heat.
This specimen of AlSi2O5OH , Aluminum Silicate Hydroxide, came from Brumado, Brazil. The image is at x25 magnification. I swept the flakes into a common area for a look-at. You can see how there is hardly a flat surface to have cleaved to a neighboring flat surface. Except for one unusual bit on the piece at 7 o'clock. The bottom side of that flake appears to have possibly developed in a crotch of the quartz rods and taken on their flat, hexagonal growth on three of its sides. I guess (as I have a habit of doing) that these pieces came from the area that held the three quartz rods together. The specimen box is now labeled "FRAGILE". Live and, this time, learn I hope.


Edited by mehaul (Fri Nov 08 2013 10:31 PM)
_________________________
"...Tomorrow's come a long way to help you."
Tim Davis 'Your Saving Grace' Steve Miller Band (1969)
"...Yesterday's at least a mile back."
Dale Peters 'Dreaming in the Country' James Gang (1971)

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#1020045 - Sat Nov 09 2013 08:31 PM Re: Digital Microscopy [Re: mehaul]
mehaul Offline
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Here be Serendipity and Fortunas' smile. This Pyrite (PYR-107) is the interior solid fill of a geode of a river tumbled-smooth rock dredged out of the Volga River in Russia. The crystals of the mineral are as small as, if not smaller than, the earlier Malachite specimen. It was hardly appealing as a digital microscopic capture even at this maximum magnification of x45. In normal vision it is quite interesting as the Pyrite glows in several different hues (possibly due to crystal facet size?). An image with a regular camera would serve to present that effect. I left the rock sitting on the stage while I attended another task. Usually when I am not using the scope I turn off the LEDs to save them and reduce the heat effect from them on the CCDs. That left just my ceiling fluorescents to illuminate the specimen and even then in the scope's shadow depriving more light. Returning my attention to the Pyrite stunned me in how much it looked like a deep space image of far off galaxies. From the macro-universe to the micro- one, there are similarities that capture an imagination.
That's the serendipitous part of this encounter. The fortunate part is that it comes right after I learned yesterday of Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) or in another nomenclature world: Comet Nevski–Novichonok. It is passing through the vicinity of Earth's orbital plane, 30 degrees ahead of us right now on its way to circle the sun. It will come back our way in the northern skies from mid to late December. The source of the comet is speculated to be the Oort Cloud and this comet may never return. A one time visit. In early January the Earth will pass quite near (less than a tenth AU) of the tail material it is spewing now. This is setting up to be a millennial type of event in sky watching. Any images any of you can capture of it would be viewed with much appreciation here.


Edited by mehaul (Sat Nov 09 2013 08:34 PM)
_________________________
"...Tomorrow's come a long way to help you."
Tim Davis 'Your Saving Grace' Steve Miller Band (1969)
"...Yesterday's at least a mile back."
Dale Peters 'Dreaming in the Country' James Gang (1971)

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#1020586 - Tue Nov 12 2013 05:34 PM Re: Digital Microscopy [Re: mehaul]
mehaul Offline
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Yay, Emerald. EME-30 is a bit of a gem, an emerald isle floating in a sea of schist. This is taken at x40 under the scope's LEDs. The entire facing length (~5mm) of this is one flat facet! The crystal is so clear that what appears to be disruptions in the crystal face structure are actually reflections of the backside and the host it's grown on. There were a few other bits of emerald on the stone but the clarity of this one allowed for a better green to show forth. So, I took the shot. When I was saving it, I suddenly saw "The Old Man of the Mountain", the state geological wonder of New Hampshire that fell apart once it had been depicted as the reverse image on the State Quarter after hundreds of years of being naturally perched high in the White Mountains. If you look you can see the profile of a man looking to the left. How about that? The real one's gone but I have my emerald replica. Oh, the emerald came from Brazil.
So, if anyone from New Hampshire is looking for where their monument went...
_________________________
"...Tomorrow's come a long way to help you."
Tim Davis 'Your Saving Grace' Steve Miller Band (1969)
"...Yesterday's at least a mile back."
Dale Peters 'Dreaming in the Country' James Gang (1971)

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#1021416 - Sun Nov 17 2013 11:46 PM Re: Digital Microscopy [Re: mehaul]
mehaul Offline
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Some (Na,Ca)8[(S,Cl,SO4,OH)2|(Al6Si6O24)] at x10 magnification from the Badakhshan Mine in Afghanistan. Let me rephrase that. Some Lazurite from a mine named after the province of Badenkhshan in Afghanistan. Now let me untie my fingers. The main constituent of Lapis lazuli is Lazurite. This mineral has been mined in that part of the world since the seventh millennium BC! You'd think they'd have run out of it by now or at least come up with easier names to deal with. This specimen shows two of the common contaminants in this mineral: Pyrite and Calcite. Here the Calcite can be seen as the cloudy undefined white wisps across the blue of the Lapis. The other flashy white pinpoints are tiny facets of the Pyrite reflecting the scope lights. At the 2 o'clock area is an interesting neighborhood of a Pyrite vein leading outward to a calcite vein. I could only speculate (another of my guesses but in fancier terms) that there was a crack in the Lazuli that allowed a later deposit of the two minerals to intrude, Pyrite first then Calcite. Why that order? I think if the Calcite had come first it would have easily filled the void leaving no room for the Pyrite.
Off-center toward 7 o'clock is a pure specimen of the Lapis which I feel makes having the Fool's Gold and Chalk along with it worth while. The whole specimen in this image is about 1.5 x 2.0 inches in surface face. At its thickest, from the center through to the background, it is about 1.0 inch. If I ever get around to learning Lapidary arts, this Lapis should be my first piece, for at most of the other viewing angles this is a very dark blue hunk of gemstone.
_________________________
"...Tomorrow's come a long way to help you."
Tim Davis 'Your Saving Grace' Steve Miller Band (1969)
"...Yesterday's at least a mile back."
Dale Peters 'Dreaming in the Country' James Gang (1971)

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#1021627 - Tue Nov 19 2013 01:53 AM Re: Digital Microscopy [Re: mehaul]
mehaul Offline
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This is one of the curiosities of the mineral world. It is Andalusite (AND-10). Clay or Carbon account for the dark areas from which Al2 SiO5, Aluminum Silicate, grows at a 45 degree angle from the axils of the center contaminant. It is often found with a symmetrical X on it but I liked the fact that this one comes from outside Malaga, Andalusia, Spain and has a cross shape to it. I cannot figure out why these natural specimens didn't scare the Moors away.
As an aside, I visited Malaga, the birthplace of Picasso, twice on day trips and on one of the visits got to see American and Russian vessels tied up at dock side by side! This was during the height of the Cold War in the early Seventies. The International port city of Malaga is quite beautiful, is only a few miles from Gibraltar but my heart is fonder of the high Sierra Morena to the north a few dozen miles behind which lies La Mancha. The rocks in those mountains are impressive. It reminds me of what some say is the beauty of California: skiing in mountains is only a couple hour drive from the Beach Boys' favorite surf sides.
This image is illuminated only by my LED flashlight. It is 2.25 in deep and 1.25 in x 1.75 in across the face. The Cross contaminant runs all the way to the other end. It is quite heavy for something that is basically aluminum. The unpolished sides look like the Elkhorn handles my grandparents had on their carving set, almost like dirty crevassed ivory. The heft belies those thoughts right away.
_________________________
"...Tomorrow's come a long way to help you."
Tim Davis 'Your Saving Grace' Steve Miller Band (1969)
"...Yesterday's at least a mile back."
Dale Peters 'Dreaming in the Country' James Gang (1971)

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#1022251 - Fri Nov 22 2013 01:50 AM Re: Digital Microscopy [Re: mehaul]
mehaul Offline
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This is a Ruby rough specimen (RUB-50). You can see that the growth of the material was in layers and that those layers were seemingly deposited in a seasonal manner. Each minor slab is 1mm thick and the larger slabs are 2mm thick. At this angle and because no light can enter the Ruby's crystal matrix from above, below or behind, the mineral appears almost black. I can assure you from other areas of the specimen that its color is a brilliant red.
I was drawn to the stepped layers of this area because they indicated a sequence of conditions for growth that did effect the formation of the entire specimen. The ruby (aluminum oxide like the Andalusite but less some silicon and with some chromium thrown in, Al2O3:Cr!) seemed to deposit so wide, get wider then get narrow from top to bottom of the most expressed area. Or, I have it upside down and it got wider then narrower. Oops, that's the same thing. Sorry. It still intrigues me that something was going on in such a timely manner with essentially the same elemental mixture being deposited in such a rhythmic manner. The music of the crystal growth. The specimen was collected in Madagascar, The white mineral is Albite.
I'm fairly certain that if I split the layers apart, I'd be left with some nice mm thick red windows or transparent plates which might make for some beautiful jewelry. If only my hands had the steadiness of my youth and not the shakiness of aged single malt.
_________________________
"...Tomorrow's come a long way to help you."
Tim Davis 'Your Saving Grace' Steve Miller Band (1969)
"...Yesterday's at least a mile back."
Dale Peters 'Dreaming in the Country' James Gang (1971)

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#1022651 - Sat Nov 23 2013 04:23 PM Re: Digital Microscopy [Re: mehaul]
mehaul Offline
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Another serendipitous find. I was at my workbench checking the voltage on some AAs and AAAs when I picked up the receipt for my last battery purchase. I couldn't read the figures too well so I got my LED flashlight to be better able to read them (a reason I go through so many batteries in the first place: my need to read). I set the paper down to read it but something was under it. I looked and there was this little, 1mm bead-like thing there. I couldn't figure out if it was a drop of melted glass, an insect egg, a drop of epoxy or something else. I decided to look at it under the microscope (which is the reason I got the scope: to satisfy my everpresent curiosity).
I first looked with the scope LEDs but they made a shadow skirt around the whole bead and reflected so much of the LEDs that not much could really be focused on. I did see that the best presentation was at x45 magnification, I shut the scope lights off and illuminated the bead with my Flashlight from above, leading me to conclude I probably needed a black background to see the item more clearly. As I withdrew my flashlight, the magnifying lens effect of the bead showed up! Boom, I took the shot.
Since it doesn't roll around easily, I rule out that it is a glass ball bearing. I lean more toward the epoxy drop but wonder at how it formed so close to round and didn't slough off as it dried. So. all I know for sure about the bead is that it is a nice model for an artistic image highlighting spherical transparency mechanics. And I still haven't finished reading the receipt.
_________________________
"...Tomorrow's come a long way to help you."
Tim Davis 'Your Saving Grace' Steve Miller Band (1969)
"...Yesterday's at least a mile back."
Dale Peters 'Dreaming in the Country' James Gang (1971)

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#1023897 - Mon Dec 02 2013 03:01 AM Re: Digital Microscopy [Re: mehaul]
mehaul Offline
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I went through many of my mineral specimens over the past few days but found none that required a microscope to display them, their beauty or natural wonders. I have an Apatite that has such large crystals that they look like sugar glazed apricots and not minerals at all. But that is a macro not micro image. I found similar drawbacks to imaging some quartz, amethyst. apophyllite and a calcite that looked like the Aragonite only with much larger crystals. I had to go to my pebble box to find something worthy of the technology this microscope presents me with.
This is a bivalve fossil in shale I collected from the shores of Lake Seneca in Geneva New York thirty years ago. It has taken this long to be able to get a photo of it that I felt happy to share. The shale deposits were laid down along the bed of a river that ran North to Hudson's Bay several million years ago. The shale deposits around the lake have been all broken up into rubble over several ice ages' worth of glaciation. I was chilling out by the lakeside, contemplating stuff as I worked my best to accelerate the natural process of turning the shale to new sediment material (I was using the edge of my penknife to split the easily separable shale layers). I noticed this outline in one of the shards. The bivalve must have been a freshwater variety. All evidence of its calcium shell having been dissolved away millennia ago by acidic rainwaters (our atmospheric conditions are not something new, just new, or possibly attributable, to us). The fossil is 1cm at its widest.
_________________________
"...Tomorrow's come a long way to help you."
Tim Davis 'Your Saving Grace' Steve Miller Band (1969)
"...Yesterday's at least a mile back."
Dale Peters 'Dreaming in the Country' James Gang (1971)

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#1024424 - Thu Dec 05 2013 08:25 PM Re: Digital Microscopy [Re: mehaul]
mehaul Offline
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Some recent press filings have intimated that the Oreo cookie is addictive! As Lead Scientist in a facility where one of our many outputs is the turning of ore into oreo, I decided to send the microscope to the Secret Laboratory to see if they could find anything that might be attributable to this "addictive" labeling in our favorite product.
We can see in this x25 magnification that the crystalline structure of the cooked cookie remains after the oven exposure. The individual grains of earthy molecules seems to be random in size and shape just the same way as when we dig the material out of the ground. The color has remained a uniform brown some refer to as 'chocolate'. The appearance of the black lines outlining the grain structures is a function of the illumination failing to penetrate the individual opaque crystals of the mixture. The report claims nothing can be seen in a view of the white, translucent filling our distributor adulterates the wafers with. The next step is to perform a simple (yet highly complex) analysis on the chemical texture of the whole (some of our apprentice and intern lab assistants refer to it as the taste test). Results: Delicious!
_________________________
"...Tomorrow's come a long way to help you."
Tim Davis 'Your Saving Grace' Steve Miller Band (1969)
"...Yesterday's at least a mile back."
Dale Peters 'Dreaming in the Country' James Gang (1971)

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#1025085 - Tue Dec 10 2013 03:28 AM Re: Digital Microscopy [Re: mehaul]
mehaul Offline
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This x45 image is a sample of Clinoclase (CLI-13) collected from the Copper Stope, Majuba Hill Mine, Pershing County, Nevada. I positioned the thing to exhibit the exterior of the stone at the top. Clinoclase is a hydrous copper arsenate mineral, Cu3AsO4(OH)3. It is often found near turquoise deposits. Turquoise has Aluminum in it - CuAl6(PO4)4(OH)8·4H2O. I think there is some Al content to the host rock of this Clinoclase, but not much. It appears some acidic water or other acidic solution, has penetrated a seam crack at the top of this location and 'melted' the Clinoclase and washed it into the host rock. To either side of this area you can see what the original concentration of clinoclase was before the exposure to acid (the dark green spots). In normal light/normal vision, the dark green here is almost black and the lighter green very dark. I sense that had more Al been present, the solution would have mixed further into the host (by hydroscopic suction) and turned it to Turquoise.
In researching this, I wondered about what 'stope' meant as part of the source location and had the collector misspelled Slope? No, Stoping is a mining term! It is what I and probably most of us think of when the idea of 'mine' comes up, a cave of the sort the Seven Dwarves used to prospect for diamonds in. And I now know that the dark green crystals in Turquoise are Clinoclase and to keep all acid washes away from the stone if they are present. I found also that many gem suppliers will coat and bond the exterior surface of Turquoise so this change won't happen. But better safe than sorry as it is said...

Edit: I consulted with my source on this one's possibility of exhibiting dissolving of the Clinoclase crystals. I went back to the specimen and took a shot looking down from the top and the rounded, rather than angular, outlines of the dissolved crystals are apparent. I will post that image on Dec. 15.


Edited by mehaul (Sun Dec 15 2013 11:42 PM)
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#1025552 - Thu Dec 12 2013 12:03 AM Re: Digital Microscopy [Re: mehaul]
mehaul Offline
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This is one face of a natural octahedral crystal of Magnetite (MAG-31). Usually in catalogs and encyclopedic sources, a beautiful representation of one pyramid sitting atop an upside down one is shown. Those are museum quality specimens. Here is what the stuff generally looks like coming out of the ground. There are un-flat faces, There are broken edges. There are other crystals grown to surround each other. Since Magnetite is of course magnetic, if a tiny edge or corner is broken off, the bit attaches itself magnetically to another crystal in an orientation that is other than the orientation in which it grew and that new orientation would be the average magnetic field in that locality. This contributes to the crystals all being arranged willy-nilly and not in the aligned manner one might expect to find and what one does find in lab grown specimens. Pwhew, that was a lot of nothing important said except as it relates to an observation detailed below.
I can imagine early man finding such a specimen as this, and, looking for better, harder arrow/spear points, cracking loose one of the octahedrons, letting it slip and seeing it jump sideways back to the rock it came from. This experience eventually leading to the discovery of magnetism and later to the development of compasses.
This x40 view includes a couple of other octahedral points: one medium sized in the upper right corner; and, one in the lower right corner that looks like it may be the broken off corner at that corner of the central crystal which has flipped around to align itself to the average mag field. All these crystals are tightly bound into the parent mass by chemical bonding so none are sitting like loose teeth ready to be pulled free. The central crystal is about 1/8 the size of a postage stamp. Oh, could there be another oddity to be seen? If you look to the right of center of the large crystal face, dropping from a dark horizontal line of some possible remnant material, there is the impression of a downward pointed triangle. A place where one face of a smaller octahedron had been attached, perhaps? Oooh, also impressed on that face going toward the upper left from there, are a half dozen other triangles. In fact, the whole face seems covered in triangle ghosts of all sizes. And all of those in alignment to the local field, that of the large crystal's face. Wow, where'd the ghosts go? Edit to add: maybe they stayed behind in the Calumet Mine in Chaffee County, Colorado, where this specimen was captured in the wild.


Edited by mehaul (Thu Dec 12 2013 12:06 AM)
_________________________
"...Tomorrow's come a long way to help you."
Tim Davis 'Your Saving Grace' Steve Miller Band (1969)
"...Yesterday's at least a mile back."
Dale Peters 'Dreaming in the Country' James Gang (1971)

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#1025857 - Sat Dec 14 2013 02:44 AM Re: Digital Microscopy [Re: mehaul]
mehaul Offline
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This is part of the connector that inputs Converted DC voltage into my portable DVD player to charge the built in battery it runs off of. It is where the wires go into the connector itself. It is a point that experienced flexing a couple of times a day and was found to be failed after about 1.5 years of use. I have another connector on a previous DVD player that I have now found to be broken in the same way. I mentioned this type of cable failure could be experienced by some notepads and laptop users here. When I look at this failure, I see that it might have 'functioned' at first after the breakage occurred (in fact, it may have been broken from the start judging by the hooked wire shown to the right side of the break and has the image of a failed/cold solder joint after a mechanical hooking of the wire bundle on a solder loop). The plastic jacket probably helped keep the flexure-overstressed wires in an apparent non-open condition, intermittently touching and allowing some battery charging to take place. Eventually, not enough juice was getting to the battery and the failure mode resembled a dead drive motor (scenes would remain frozen on the display and no motor vibration was felt).
On the left bundle of wires, you can see that the cable jacket has stretched as exhibited by the near parallel roving white ~horizontal separation of the jacket's coating. The wires in that bundle are also most likely in a broken, but intermittently touching state. I think I understand the failure aftereffects on the bit of wire u-turned up in the central area. It was exposed and a bend or push to right the cable didn't on its own align and so was wrapped backward. The hook ended wire is baffling. The varying lengths of the wires seen indicate that it wasn't a single crushing event that broke them but a series of flexing like breaking a wire coathanger (do they still make those? All I see now are plastic ones). If it has separated from a cold solder joint down inside the connector body, I hope to resolve that matter by burning away the plastic of the connector, making new solder connections and then coating with a non-conductive epoxy. Then do the same with the other broken Converter and cable.
Here's the kicker that should land in some Mechanical Engineer's butt: the lower half of the image displays the molded indents that were supposed to allow flexing without breaking! That professional either allowed the wrong plastic (too stiff) to be specified, or didn't oversee his manufacturing process to see that it was being done to design. Engineers are to be aware of failure modes, not make them part of a planned failure.


Edited by mehaul (Sat Dec 14 2013 02:58 AM)
_________________________
"...Tomorrow's come a long way to help you."
Tim Davis 'Your Saving Grace' Steve Miller Band (1969)
"...Yesterday's at least a mile back."
Dale Peters 'Dreaming in the Country' James Gang (1971)

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#1026128 - Sun Dec 15 2013 11:02 PM Re: Digital Microscopy [Re: mehaul]
mehaul Offline
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This is the Clinoclase imaged a week ago. To the upper left of a diagonal is the exterior of the host. I took a shot of the same site but from an angle looking down into what I think was a crack in the host material that allowed an acid solution to penetrate the field of Clinaclase crystals and melt (dissolve) them, thus creating a dye solution. The focal point is about halfway down the face of the earlier image. The greened area of the earlier image is contained entirely in the streak of dark green across the diagonal. The barren crystal field and then the dense field to the lower right of that dark green were below the area photographed before and not seen. The rounded outline of the crystals is evident. You can also see that whatever made the staining solution also either puddled atop the crack and stained the outside of the host or penetrated straight through the material to turn it green and toward the Turquoise. I tend to go for the puddle idea in view of the scalloped outline of the stain on the outside top of the host (here seen running diagonally from lower left to upper right above the crystal field of the Clinoclase). In the image's lower right corner are seen some crystals from below the bottom of the greened area in the original image. While adjusting the focus, I could see that the edges are sharp and straight on those crystals as opposed to the rounded edges in the melt field. The only thing I might say about this view in that regard is that in the melt field the roundness allows a light reflection off each crystal and deeper in, past the melt zone, though blurry, there are no light reflections to note, indicating that flat surfaces are reflecting the illumination somewhere other than back to the lens as a curved surface would.
_________________________
"...Tomorrow's come a long way to help you."
Tim Davis 'Your Saving Grace' Steve Miller Band (1969)
"...Yesterday's at least a mile back."
Dale Peters 'Dreaming in the Country' James Gang (1971)

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#1026170 - Mon Dec 16 2013 10:08 AM Re: Digital Microscopy [Re: mehaul]
mehaul Offline
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Registered: Wed Feb 03 2010
Posts: 5075
Loc: Florida USA

This is my other DVD player power cable connector. The break is not as complete as the first since some of the insulation is still part of the other wire bundle. Two and possibly 3 strands of the bundle can be seen in the upper section. All seem to have flex broken at the same point (indicating the connector body relief molding was even stiffer than the first imaged unit. They have a brown tint to them. To me, there are far too few strands in a bundle that is supposed to see the exposure (both in use and electrical parameters) that a portable DVD player would expect to experience. When wires first start to separate, the resistance of that bit of circuitry increases. Current flow through increased resistance creates heat. It looks like some cable insulation did get exposed to high temperatures (as seen by the bubbly look of the part that has yet to separate on the first bundle of wires. Looks like the manufacturer of the connectors/chargers had some changes. Either it was a different vendor using the RCA design or RCA itself qualified a different wire bundle source for the component. This I gather from the cross-hatch pattern on the 'unbroken' half of the cable. That isn't part of the other charger's wire description. So, I've had two of these types (more than RCA uses them) of wiring failures on portable devices after about a year's worth of daily use. One of them appears close to have been a fire incident! If you experience a failure of a rechargeable device, I would look here for the cause. That Radiohut place has a charger that you can match the needed voltage on and select from a series of connector versions to be the plug part. Or, it's Xmas, just buy a whole new device? In light of the possibility of a failure and fire, inspection of this location should be part of an owner's inspect before use regimen.
I'm not talking Pinto gas tank here but many do go to sleep with this type of connector in use on a device next to them as they slumber.

Edit: Please note that on both connectors I bent the break areas open so they can be seen. Without doing this, the wiring looks fine and the break is virtually un-noticeable. So do any inspection delicately on working chargers.


Edited by mehaul (Mon Dec 16 2013 10:11 AM)
_________________________
"...Tomorrow's come a long way to help you."
Tim Davis 'Your Saving Grace' Steve Miller Band (1969)
"...Yesterday's at least a mile back."
Dale Peters 'Dreaming in the Country' James Gang (1971)

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#1026537 - Wed Dec 18 2013 01:47 PM Re: Digital Microscopy [Re: mehaul]
mehaul Offline
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Registered: Wed Feb 03 2010
Posts: 5075
Loc: Florida USA

I wanted a piece of cut Aquamarine. I plugged Aquamarine into a vendor's search engine and mostly Aquamarine of the Beryl type was reported back. One entry was different. This 3.5 ct Aquamarine colored, lab created Spinel. Why was it listed with a different mineral type? I'm not complaining because it is a beautiful color and has no flaws or inclusions I can see even in this x40 magnification. It is tipped slightly from looking straight into the crown so the scope lights aren't reflected (I do see two of the LEDs reflected just above the centerline). I love that in this rectangular cut piece, looking through the top half there are only two surfaces involved: the crown and the side pavilion. Yet some shadowing is seen and I think is due to attenuated reflections off the other sides and from the underside of the crown. I gives me the impression of stage lighting and sets up the bottom half reflections as images of a stage set. Interesting! Even though a drawback of magnification is the subtraction of color intensity, this image shows most of the lovely hue of the Aquamarine namesake. Best part may be that it only cost $14 shipped and handled!
_________________________
"...Tomorrow's come a long way to help you."
Tim Davis 'Your Saving Grace' Steve Miller Band (1969)
"...Yesterday's at least a mile back."
Dale Peters 'Dreaming in the Country' James Gang (1971)

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#1026653 - Thu Dec 19 2013 11:32 AM Re: Digital Microscopy [Re: mehaul]
mehaul Offline
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Registered: Wed Feb 03 2010
Posts: 5075
Loc: Florida USA

Tadah, for the cruciverbalists among us: the modern plastic AGLET. Personally, I enjoyed the old metal ones. They kept the lace draped down the side of the shoe and were a fitting last task of the polishing chore of shoe maintenance.

This x15 magnification exhibits the problem I first had with the glass bead shot - the LEDs create a shadow to both sides of the object, lending a false increase to the apparent width of the object. I looked at it with a single side illumination but that created in this case a large distracting shadow on the side away from the light source. This image works okay I hope.


Edited by mehaul (Thu Dec 19 2013 11:41 AM)
_________________________
"...Tomorrow's come a long way to help you."
Tim Davis 'Your Saving Grace' Steve Miller Band (1969)
"...Yesterday's at least a mile back."
Dale Peters 'Dreaming in the Country' James Gang (1971)

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