Minerals, Space, DC

Smithsonian Museum of Natural History

It was pretty fun metro-ing into DC with Annie and her friend, Nguyen. I’ve seen some of these exhibits several times, and I am astonished by how much I take away every time I visit.

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I can’t tell you how many times I’ve looked at the cross sections of these particular meteorites, and yet every time I see them, it’s always a new and fascinating experience. To actually see these things up close blows my mind away. There are vast amounts of metals and minerals in space waiting to be found, just like this.

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If you put the materialism aside, there’s a part of me that would love to own a piece of space in the form of a watch. What you see here is a Jaeger Le-Coultre master calendar watch with a small cross section of iron meteorite on the face. The naturally occurring pattern in the iron is money.

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For now I need to reduce my spending. So no expensive watches. Instead, I will look into only expensive camera lenses. Hah! On a side note, I’m really digging this new Nikon 24mm f1.4 lens. It’s a beast to lug around, but I’m really pleased with the results.

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I’m actually more interested in natural shapes and inclusions of minerals versus the cut and polished gemstones. This thing looks like it should be a planet in some sort of sci-fi movie.

Some of the naturally formed shapes are like miniature paintings. Millions of years of the earth’s history are visually captured within each one of these minerals. Each inclusion is unique and one-of-a-kind.

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And I really liked this one. The little touches of orange are curious and beautiful. The tiniest bit of molecular contamination can create lovely visual accents.

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Look at the shapes of all the metals (silver and copper) that have been formed from crevices of other rocks. Each shape is a natural sculpture that I could stare at for hours.

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And here’s a picture of Annie showing off her moissanite next to the raw mineral crystal on display. She really likes the color, and it was pretty interesting seeing it next to the real thing.

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And of course opal. The people who originally discovered it probably thought opal was an alien or god-like material. In its raw form and unpolished, it looks like it’s from the movie Avatar.

After the Smithsonian, we headed over to the Air and Space Museum. More on that later, so stay tuned.

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