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Geological map of St Austell granite and surrounding area
POSTED 01/07/2021 - 17:46
New - St Austell Granite Collection

Dr Andy Tindle has created a new collection of 30 rocks and thin sections from the St Austell Granite in SW England. 

The St Austell granite is famous for it's mines and china clay pits - zones where the hydrothermal activity…

Map with cities represented as blue circles whose relative sizes show numbers of virtual microscope users
POSTED 01/07/2021 - 17:51
Hello Hull and Phoenix!

The virtual microscope for Earth sciences has been on-line nearly 3 years, and each year around this time the number of users increases as the new university term begins. The largest number of users are still in the UK but that is slowly changing…

Photomicrograph under crossed polars of an igneous rock
POSTED 01/07/2021 - 21:44
Thin Section Thursday

We've been tweeting Virtual Microscope images on Thursdays for a while now with the hashtag #ThinSectionThursday, and linking to the locations within individual thin sections using the share function in the VMfES. We never set up a twitter…

Meteorite sample on reflective surface with shadow
POSTED 01/07/2021 - 22:00
A New collection - British and Irish Meteorites

Meteorites are amazing objects, some are primitive rocks with features that formed in the early solar system, some are almost entirely metal. Meteorites are generally only found in museums or private collections but we've worked with the Natural…

Photomicrograph under crossed polars of crystalline rock
POSTED 01/07/2021 - 22:10
New Academic Year

Each Autumn we see the numbers of people using the Virtual Microscope for Earth science increase, marking the beginning of a new year of petrology teaching.

So if you’re new to the virtual microscope, welcome. You might be wondering how…

Cartoon figure pointing its finger on a green background
POSTED 01/07/2021 - 22:19
The Martians are Here!

20 new Martian meteorite thin sections are now available on this site. They come from a range of sources but we’ve brought them together in one place. They used to be known as the SNC class of meteorites, but it is generally accepted that these…

Screenshot of new Moons FutureLearn course home page
POSTED 01/07/2021 - 22:32
Virtual microscope used in free course on 'Moons'

we’re excited that 'Moons' a new course from The Open University starts on the FutureLearn platform on Monday 17th March. The course is suitable for anyone with an interest…

Snapshot of UK map displaying clusters of samples as numbered icons
POSTED 01/07/2021 - 22:39
Over 100 UK Rocks and Minerals Digitised and On-line

We've added a series of rocks in the last few weeks so we now have over 100 virtual UK rocks on-line, and 333 rocks in total on the site including the meteorites, Moon rocks and a few password protected collections.

As the location map…

Trinity College Dublin logo
POSTED 01/07/2021 - 23:06
Trinity College Dublin collection available as an OER

We're making another university teaching collection into an Open Educational resource. Here it is. Many thanks to Balz Kamber, Emma Tomlinson and…

Mountain photograph on cover of OU S339 textbook, Mountain building
POSTED 01/07/2021 - 23:26
A new teaching collection from the Open University

We’ve added 21 new virtual thin sections from an Open University teaching collection. Thanks to Professor Nigel Harris, chair of the Open University level 3…

Watercolour of Darwin's sip, The Beagle, in Tierra del Fuego
POSTED 01/07/2021 - 23:39
A New Old Collection - Darwin's Rocks

We've finally managed to transfer a collection of 28 rocks from the old virtual microscope site to this new collections site. This collection is a set of rocks collected from around the world by…

Mice statue at the Royal Cornish Museum
POSTED 01/07/2021 - 23:45
The new collection - Cabinet of Curiosities

The latest collection we've posted isn't a new series of rocks, its a collection of objects that Andy has come across in his travels collecting the rock samples. There's no rhyme or reason for it - they're…