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Mineral hunting, mob math and more reader feedback

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8:00am, February 11, 2015

A mineral by any other name

A rock from space helped researchers describe a common mineral found on Earth. In “A name for Earth’s most abundant mineral” (SN: 1/10/15, p. 4), Thomas Sumner explained that the form of magnesium iron silicate that makes up more than a third of the planet’s volume is now officially called bridgmanite.

The meteorite impact that forged the first naturally occurring bridgmanite sample generated pressures that reached 180,000 kilograms, about the weight of a blue whale, per square centimeter. “That comparison immediately set my bored mind to wandering about for other comparisons,” Jim Stars wrote. Readers looking for another

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