At a previous meeting, Martin Mueller showed off this piece of ironwood. Ironwood is not a rock or mineral, and although it may look similar, ironwood is not petrified wood. It is a name for many different types of wood that are said to be hard. It has a nice wood grain texture at the polished bottom. Sadly, I have forgotten what kind of wood this is and where it came from (it wasn’t from Westeros!). Does anybody know?
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We usually feature quartz crystals or fluorite crystals, but today’s crystal is somewhat different. To celebrate the first day of winter, here are some photos of snowflakes taken with a Low Temperature Scanning Electron Microscope (LT-SEM). The photos were taken by members of the Electron and Confocal Microscopy Laboratory, Agricultural Research Service, U. S. Department of Agriculture. From top to bottom, left to right, there are some needle crystals, a snow crystal coated in rime, a hoar crystal, a common snow crystal, a snowdrift from St. Louis Creek, a close-up of packed snow, a side plane crystal, and the traditional dendritic snow crystal. Suddenly I understand why there are so many different types of snow. More photos of snowflakes here.