Astronomy Magazine - Dave's Universe
A review of A Quest for Shiny Purple Crystals
Posted by Dave Eicher
February 19, 2015
What do rocks and minerals have to do with astronomy? I sometimes get that question from people who wonder why I collect and study mineral specimens. Well, in short, the universe assembles matter in an orderly way and builds solid planets by making minerals. Mineralogy is planetary science, and studying the minerals on Earth gives us a look at our own planet and also the possibilities of how countless other worlds in the universe are made.
I have a friend who is a geologist and artist in Oxford, Ohio, the little town where I grew up and where my father taught chemistry at Miami University. Monica Rakovan is president of Environmental Solutions and also has just written a delightful book about minerals aimed at young people, containing not only her story but also her carefully crafted artwork. The book is A Quest for Shiny Purple Crystals: Johnny and Max‘s Rock Hunting Adventure (The Arkenstone, Dallas, 2015, $10).
Monica’s husband, John, is also a good friend and a professor of mineralogy at Miami University, as well as executive editor of Rocks and Minerals magazine.
I urge you to check out the book and order a copy for any young folks you know who are interested in science. This is the kind of book we need to get into the hands of kids in order to light that magic spark of discovery. Who knows? You may be creating a new mineralogist or planetary scientist!
You can find out more about the book here.
And special thanks to Monica Kitt of The Arkenstone, the great Dallas mineral dealership that has acted as publisher of this work.