By: Robert Hazen , Carnegie Institution of Washington
The Carbon Mineral Challenge: A Worldwide Hunt for New Carbon Minerals is a one-of-a-kind international challenge designed to engage the international mineralogical community—both serious amateur collectors and professional mineralogists—and to kickstart a targeted search for undiscovered carbon-bearing minerals. Today, mineralogists recognize 406 carbon minerals out of more than 5000 known mineral species on Earth. Since 2010, the International Mineralogical Association has reported the discovery of an average of about four new carbon minerals every year for the past five years. However, Deep Carbon Observatory researchers now estimate there are at least 145 more carbon minerals still awaiting discovery. Panelists will talk about how life and minerals have co-evolved on Earth; localities where collectors have found carbon minerals before; what these undiscovered carbon minerals might look like; why we care about finding them; and how amateur and professional mineral collectors can get involved in the Challenge.