Silicon dioxide or SiO2 doesn’t sound like anything particularly interesting, unless you’re a bit of a chemist or a geologist. Because as I planned yesterday I’m going to astound you with my knowledge of rocks again. That is to say the knowledge itself won’t astound you but that fact that I took the time to learn it will…
For those of you who don’t know silicon dioxide is better known as agate.Which is a cryptocrystalline rock. So in laymen’s terms, it’s a pretty rock. The crystals making up the rock are so minute that they are hard to make out even under a microscope, and they often form in a banded formation creating lovely patterns. They come in a variety of colours making them quite popular decorative pieces.
My personal favourite is the blue agate. Here’s one…
They are most commonly formed when silicon pools in a pocket of air in lava lakes. I’m not really a big fan of hanging around in lava lakes but silicon takes the opportunity to become something delightfully attractive. I’m not sure what I’d make but I think it’d be a painful process for a bit…
Now you’re probably thinking, as is common with my posts, that’s nice Hansen but why are you telling me this?
And once again you’re asking the right question at the perfect time. You’re really very good at that.
There’s a scientific probe called Juno that’s been sent to check up on Jupiter. Which is funny in itself because in Roman mythology Juno and Jupiter were a married couple and now she’s checking up on him with his many “moons”. But recently the probe has been taking pictures like some kind of private eye rooting out adulterers. Juno has gotten a peek at Jupiter’s south pole and I’ll refrain from making a butt joke.
Jupiter is a planet that is so big you could fit 300 Earth’s into it. It has a weather storm on it’s surface so big that it’s twice the size of Earth. Needless to say this is an impressive planet. Most of the time when we look at Jupiter we see nothing because it’s really far away you doofus. But when we look at it with a telescope it’s kind of brown, swirly, reminiscent of coffee but not really somewhere you think would be a nice holiday destination. And that’s before you find out the main components of the air are ammonia and hydrogen sulphide.
But Juno, like a loving wife who knows him so well has given us a new angle with which to view Jupiter. She sees more than what we do. Juno has sent back more than just more brown pictures. She’s sent something that reminds me of those beautiful blue agate stones.
Under the right conditions anything has the potential for true beauty. Whether it’s the coffee planet or the silicon that normally makes up my computer, looking at it the right way gives us something to marvel at.
Thanks Juno. I hope Jupiter knows what he’s got.