Finding something really valuable on another world.

ElderChao

Ensign
Joined
Feb 15, 2018
Location
UK
What might we expect in the way of precious minerals (or other, is there other?) when prospecting off Earth. Mars is the obvious place. Something that would cause the Space Race to change up a gear.
 

ElderChao

Ensign
Joined
Feb 15, 2018
Location
UK
Helium is plentiful. I was thinking of precious metal or stone. Is it physically possible there are others off Earth?
 

Tom

An Old Friend
Joined
Dec 6, 2004
Location
Gulf Coast
The current table of elements gives a fairly realistic picture of the possible minerals that might be found based on what we know about stability and atomic combinations.

What might be found could be deposits of known minerals which are purified or concentrated in ways not common to Earth.

In physics, a state of matter is one of the distinct forms in which matter can exist. Four states of matter are observable in everyday life: solid, liquid, gas, and plasma. The fifth state is the man-made Bose-Einstein condensates.

We might find a pocket of lead gas or solid oxygen. Venus might have naturally occurring liquid gold or barium gas pockets.

I highly doubt unobtanium, adamantium or vibranium exists.

I do believe its possible we might find compounds of known elements in uncommon combinations if we ever explore dead star remnants or bodies formed in nova, supernova and hypernova reactions. It might be possible to find gas and liquid uncommon combinations if we ever explore nebulas or other dust clouds in space.

Heavy water exists on this planet right now. We might find other such 'heavy' liquids on planets/celestial bodies.

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Theory of Minerals at High and Ultrahigh Pressures : Structure, Properties, Dynamics, and Phase Transitions





An evolutionary system of mineralogy: Proposal for a classification of planetary materials
based on natural kind clustering
Robert M. Hazen
Abstract
Minerals reveal the nature of the co-evolving geosphere and biosphere
through billions of years of Earth history. Mineral classification systems
have the potential to elucidate this rich evolutionary story; however, the
present mineral taxonomy, based as it is on idealized major element chemistry and crystal structure, lacks a temporal aspect, and thus cannot reflect
planetary evolution. A complementary evolutionary system of mineralogy
based on the quantitative recognition of “natural kind clustering” for a wide
range of condensed planetary materials with different paragenetic origins
has the potential to amplify, though not supersede, the present classification system.

Keywords:
Philosophy of mineralogy, classification, mineral evolution, mineral ecology, data-
driven discovery, cluster analysis, natural kinds
 
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