The Nittany Lion looks out from a 
Central Pennsylvania doubly terminated quartz crystal.  Artwork © John Passaneau.
Nittany Mineralogical Society, Inc.
State College, Pennsylvania

Eastern Federation of Mineralogical and Lapidary Societies logo

American Federation of Mineralogical Societies logo
Your local non-profit mineral, gem and rock club
generally meets the third Wednesday of each month, August through May.
We now meet in Penn State's Earth and Engineering Sciences Building, on White Course Drive off North Atherton Street.
See driving directions and campus maps.
All are welcome to attend our meetings!
Parents must provide supervision of minors.

Mineral collectors and rockhounds, earth scientists and dinosaur lovers will all enjoy our activities.

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Field Trips Junior Rockhounds Meetings Minerals Junior Education Day April 7 2018
Bulletin CORRECTION: The NMS Picnic is planned for August 26, which is a SUNDAY, not Saturday.


Download and print a meeting flyer.

NMS May 16th meeting reception:
Honoring Dr. Duff Gold as a
Life Member of NMS
Please join us at our May 16th meeting as we honor Dr. David P. “Duff” Gold for his many contributions to Nittany Mineralogical Society by conferring our highest honor, Life Membership. Before the main program, please join us for a short reception and presentation. As part of the social hour / reception, we plan to cut the cake at 7:20 p.m. (don't be late!). We'll start the presentation at 7:40. The main program will follow, at 8:00 or later.

NMS May 16th meeting program:
Space Debris, Part 2:
Asteroids and Comets: Dark threats
by
Dr D.P. "Duff" Gold
Professor Emeritus of Geology
Penn State

Our May meeting will be held Wednesday the 16th in 114 Earth & Engineering Sciences Building (EESB) on the west side of the Penn State campus in State College, PA. Maps are available on our web site.
    6:45 to 7:45 p.m.: Social hour, special refreshments and reception                                      in the lobby; PLEASE ARRIVE BY 7:20.
    7:40 to 8:00 p.m.: Honoring Dr Duff Gold as a Life Member of NMS
    about 8:00 p.m.: featured program

The event has free admission, free parking, and free refreshments, and is open to all; parents/guardians must provide supervision of minors. Bring your friends and share an interesting evening!


The emphasis of this talk is on recognition of astroblemes (impact scars), and development of a scale involving size and associated magnitude of energy transfer. The objective is to gain some idea of frequency through deep time, and speculate on “risk.” The reality of “large events” was demonstrated in real-time on July 16, 1994, with the impact of Shoemaker-Levy 9 cometary fragments on Jupiter.

Very few of us would consider “space debris” as a hazardous agent when discussing large natural disasters such as hurricanes, tropical storms, earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions. The closest we come is the Volcanic Energy Index (VEI), adapted to units of “energy transfer” expressed in megatons of TNT in a highly brissant explosion. Appreciate that the volcanic explosive eruptions of Krakatoa (August 27, 1883), estimated to have ejected 46 km3 (11 cubic miles) of debris into the atmosphere is rated a 6 on the VEI (~220 megatons), and the Tambora eruption (April 10, 1815), which ejected 150 cubic kms (36 cubic miles) of ash and pumice, has a VEI rating of 7. Both greater than the Tunguska air-blast explosion (estimated >60 megatons) of an ~100 ft diameter comet head, over a remote part of Siberia on June 30, 1908, are amongst the greatest explosions recorded by man. The Tunguska explosion that levelled 200 km2 (770 square miles) of taiga forest, is attributed to an approximately ~100 ft diameter comet head exploding in the atmosphere. This scale is open-ended; with known asteroid packing sufficient kinetic energy to match the rotational energy of the earth, and initiate “ocean boiling” events. We will touch on the co-lateral damage such as nuclear winter, climate change and mass extinctions and briefly compare hazardous event risks.

We plan to have samples of unique shock metamorphism (shatter-cones, suivite, pseudo-tachylite breccias, and melts, tektite, desert glass and KT boundary ash) on display.


DRIVING DIRECTIONS and PARKING for Earth & Engineering Sciences Building meetings on the Penn State campus (NOT Minerals Junior Ed. Day): After 5:00 p.m. and on weekends, free parking is available immediately across the street from the building. From North Atherton St. (Business Rt. 322) between College Avenue and Park Avenue, turn west (toward the golf course) off North Atherton at the traffic signal marked "White Course Drive." Go past the parking attendant's booth, follow the curve to the left, then turn right into the parking lot before reaching the stop sign. The building entrance is a little beyond the center of the lot, at the crosswalk. Enter the building, then go all the way across the lobby for our social hour & meeting room. We have a simple map at http://www.nittanymineral.org/EESBmap.jpg. For official campus maps see http://www.geog.psu.edu/print-campus-maps .

T-shirts in Galapagos Blue and Texas Orange
NMS has in stock the new order of T-shirts in Galapagos blue, Texas orange (both shown here) and royal blue.


A station at our Minerals Junior Education Day
A station at our Minerals Junior Education Day


Celestine crystal cluster 2016: CELESTINE is under consideration for Pennsylvania State Mineral


Collecting in a quarry
Collecting crystals in a quarry


Five different posters
We have 2013 (and other) posters for sale!

©2018 Nittany Mineralogical Society, Inc.      Main page last modified 8 May 2018      webmaster