What’s in a name? When it comes to minerals, a name can tell you quite a bit.
Students from North Dakota State University’s Mineralogy course created 16 new articles about minerals. All of them have surprisingly human names, because they’re named after famous geologists.
Students tackled George-ericksenite, now a 3,000-word article about a yellow mineral named after USGS geologist George E. Ericksen. Bobdownsite was named after University of Arizona professor Robert Terrace Downs. Similarly, Waterhouseite was named for Australian geologist Frederick George Waterhouse, and Charlesite was named for a Harvard minerologist, Dr. Charles Palache. Meanwhile, Khmaralite, found in Antarctica, was named for Ivan Fedorovich Khmara, a tractor driver killed in Antarctica.
While these minerals have human names, the course created two articles, Allendeite and Hexamolybdenum, with extraterrestrial origins. These minerals were first discovered in the Allende meteorite that hit Earth in 1969.
Thanks for these students for work that expands Wikipedia’s content about mineralogy!