Monday, December 03, 2007

Fluorescent Rocks - Petrified Wood

Over the weekend the El Paso Mineral and Gem Society held its annual gem and mineral show. I am a member of this group and really enjoy being with them. Nice people. Their field trips are great.

It was a great show.

The nicest thing I got at the show is a large piece of opalized petrified wood. It was found years ago when the dam was being built south of the Hatch, New Mexico municipal airport.

The rock stands about 6-1/2 inches (17 cm) tall, so it is a nice size. A big piece, but not so large that it is unmanageable.

And when illuminated with short wave ultraviolet light the trace amounts of uranium in the silicon dioxide in it fluoresces a beautiful bright green.

This is a link to a high resolution copy of this same composite photo: