Epic discovery…

I found a squirrel holding an acorn on the Moon today.  Isn’t it cute?

squirrel

In reality, the ‘squirrel’ is a grain of iron-nickel (Fe-Ni) alloy in a lunar sample.  I am using the electron microprobe to determine the composition of the metal grains in several rocks to figure out what the magnetic carrier minerals are.  There are several different Fe-Ni alloys which can appear in extraterrestrial samples:  kamacite, taenite, martensite, tetrataenite, etc.  Each type of Fe-Ni alloy has different magnetic properties.  In order to properly contextualize our paleomagnetic results, we have to make sure we know what type of metal we’re looking at!

/just a slice of my life

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