Planetary Structure Rocks!
What science lets you look at a landscape and see its past? Why, geology, of course. Strictly speaking, geology is the study of Earth’s structures, rocks, and the way they form and change over time. However, the principles of understanding our planet that you learn when you study geology also come in handy when looking at other worlds. So, the earth science we learn in school gives us insight across time and solar system space.
A desktop collection of rocks from around the world. (Pay no attention to the aliens and bear. They were gifts from fellow planetarians over the years.) Photo by TheSpacewriter.
I used to collect rocks as a kid. My first collection disappeared during a move, but that didn’t stop me from picking up more. These days, I have a small collection gathered from my travels from nearly every continent (except Antarctica). Each one has a tale to tell about its origins.
Rock crystal structures fascinated me, which is why I started picking them up in the first place. I noticed pretty quickly the many different shapes and structures in rocks. In 8th grade, we studied geology, which meant taking field trips. Around where ...