Geopic of the week: Fluorescent Minerals

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The above picture shows several varieties of kryptonite…. not really!  These are various minerals that display a natural phenomenon known as fluorescence.  Fluorescent minerals contain particles that glow when exposed to ultraviolet light, a type of light outside of the spectrum of light we can see.  Actually, these minerals also fluoresce in visible light such as sunlight, but the visible wavelengths drown out the glow so we don’t notice it.

This collection of fluorescent minerals, along with other educational, geology-related exhibits, is on display at the Arkansas Geological Survey’s learning center in Little Rock.  If you would like  to visit the learning center and see for yourself, it’s available for touring by appointment.  You can find out more by contacting the Arkansas Geological Survey.

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