Sometimes it feels like everyone in the geoscience world was in Tucson for the gem and mineral shows earlier this month. I just stumbled across a series of posts by Astronomy magazine blogger David Eicher who reports mostly on the event being the world's biggest gathering of meteorite buyers and sellers.
So, why was Astronomy covering it?
"...by holding Earth minerals in our hands, we are looking at the best examples of planetary geology we can get. And because chemistry is the same throughout the universe, Earth minerals give us a look at what exoplanets may be like throughout the universe."
It was obvious that meteorites were a big deal this year. Along just one hall at the Hotel Tucson City Center (formerly Inn Suites), I found four meteorite dealers [right, my snapshot of one display case with a variety of meteorites] The success of the "Meteorite Men" show on the Discovery Channel may be helping fuel a fascination with these extraterrestrial specimens. The stars of that show were in attendance as well, with book signings and their own popular retail operation.