- Location: Howell, NJ
- 3/10/2022 7:30 PM to 9:00 PM
Speaker: Johan Maertens
CMS member Johan Maertens presents Heaven and Hell in Ohio.
Attendees get to enjoy an audio-visual lecture about one of Ohio’s common minerals.
Celestine or celestite, is a mineral consisting of strontium sulfate. The mineral derives its name – for its occasional delicate blue color - from the Latin word caelestis meaning celestial, which in turn is derived from the Latin word caelum meaning sky or heaven. Celestine occurs as crystals, and also in compact massive and fibrous forms. It is mostly found in sedimentary rocks, often associated with the minerals gypsum, anhydrite, and halite.
The mineral is found worldwide, usually in small quantities. Pale blue crystal specimens are found in Madagascar and closer to home in Pennsylvania and Ohio.
Did you know that the bodies of Acantharea - a group of radiolarian protozoa - are made of celestine, unlike those of other radiolarians which are made of silica.
Celestine and the carbonate mineral strontianite are the principal sources of the element strontium, commonly used in fireworks and in various metal alloys.
We descend from heaven and go underground to the largest known celestine geode located near the village of Put-In-Bay, Ohio on South Bass Island in Lake Erie. The geode is 35 feet in diameter at its widest point. It has been converted into a viewing cave, and the crystals which once composed the floor of the geode have been removed. The Crystal Cave has celestine crystals as wide as 18 inches across and weighing up to an estimated 300 lb.
Note: While the lecturer prefers the name celestite, celestine is the approved name for this mineral by the International Mineralogical Association Commission on New Minerals and Mineral Names (CNMMN). Although celestite finds frequent usage in some mineralogical texts, the name has been discredited as a valid mineral name by this organization.
We encourage attendees to bring and show specimens of celestine.
The presentation is open and fit for all ages.