What gives Gemstones their colors?

When investigating the chemical composition of gemstones, a perplexing conundrum presents itself rather quickly. Some gemstones, despite having different colors, obtain their colors by having the same metals inside them. Ruby and emerald, for example, both are colored because of the chromium 3+ metal ions present in them. Yet ruby is red and emerald is … Continue reading What gives Gemstones their colors?

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Why Look for a Trace of Carbonates in Space?

Space researchers often discuss the role of carbonates on Mars, meteors, dwarf planets, and in galaxies light years away. Astrobiology, a current buzzword in space research, is concerned with determining if life is possible elsewhere in the universe. What are carbonates and why are they of interest to astrobiologists? Carbonates are negatively charged molecules, or anions, containing … Continue reading Why Look for a Trace of Carbonates in Space?