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Rocks, Minerals, Ultraviolet Lights

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   Events     Weather     Writer's Cafe     City Profiles     Life in the Desert      Local Happenings

Home                   Animals                   Desert Map                     Photography                What's New?

   Events     Weather     Writer's Cafe     City Profiles     Life in the Desert      Local Happenings

   Spending time in the desert at night is a great experience and can be greatly enhanced by the use of an ultraviolet light. Besides finding spiders and scorpions, the large quantity of flourescence minerals, rocks and even gems that you can find will surprise you. Greg Watson was kind enough to give us 3 great examples of flourescence rocks that he found in the desert southwest. His before and after shots make them even more interesting. Don't hesitate to go out and explore with a blacklight yourself, one of the lights are now very reasonable. See below.
Calcite
Scheelite
Opal

Calcite

Scheelite

Common Opal

(not precious opal)

   Calcite is a carbonate mineral and the most stable polymorph of calcium carbonate. On the Mohs scale of mineral hardness it has a value of 3.

Photos courtesy of Greg Watson

Photos courtesy of Greg Watson

Photos courtesy of Greg Watson

   It's a calcium tungstate mineral with the chemical formula CaWO4. It is an important ore of tungsten (wolfram). Well-formed crystals are sought by collectors and are occasionally fashioned into gemstones when suitably free of flaws. In this example the sheelite is fluorescing blue - the surrounding matrix is unknown. This is a great example of using a UV light to find minerals that you'd not normally see.
   Opal is a hydrated amorphous form of silica (SiO2-nH2O); its water content may range from 3 to 21% by weight, but is usually between 6 and 10%. Because of its amorphous character, it is classed as a mineraloid, unlike crystalline forms of silica, which are classed as minerals. It is deposited at a relatively low temperature and may occur in the fissures of almost any kind of rock, being most commonly found with limonite, sandstone, rhyolite, marl, and basalt.

Ultraviolet Lights

UV Light - Best Choice

   The above links were added here to give you an idea of the cost involved to enjoy this really unique hobby. If you spend time in the desert, then this is just another way to see some of the neat geologic and animal wonders that exist there. 

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Geology

   There are 2 main types of UV Lights. Long wave and Short wave. Some minerals will fluoresce under one but not the other. So to make this simple we've added links to a web site for more info and links where you can purchase a light that won't break the bank. It'll work great for the beginner or the casual user. If you want a professional setup then expect to pay $200 to $500 or more - see the web site link below.

Links to purchase, information:

Convoy S2+ 365nm UV Flashlight
Convoy S2+ 365nm Longwave Mineral LIght. It is an LED and is powered by a 18650 rechargeable lithium battery, (not included with the light). It has a working distance of 10 meters or more and is reasonably priced. See this site for more INFO.
Purchase at Gearbest.com

Prices and links subject to change!

Purchase at banggood.com
   This is a great UV light to look for fluorescene in rocks, minerals, snakes and insects in the desert. Want to know more about UV lights? HERE is a site with a lot of information, including info and links to the more expensive UV Lights.

See below for batteries, and chargers.

   These batteries have a small electronic circuit integrated into the cell packaging. This will prevent overcharging, over discharge, short circuit, over current and high temps. The chance of an explosion is always a concern with non-protected lithium rechargealbe batteries. We've had unprotected ones swell up till they'd no longer fit into a camera we have. So don't take a chance, spend a little more on the protected batteries. Most batteries listed on these store sites do not have this feature. The batteries listed below are protected and the charger has a 120 volt AC and a 12 volt DC charger cord. The 12 volt cord will come in handy for extended use in the desert. This is why we included the links to these items below ----

Batteries & Chargers, 18650 Batteries

Batteries for the Convoy S2+ Light

   We've done a great deal of research into the many chargers that are available. This charger goes above and beyond to give you a good product that can charge from AC and 12 Volt DC. We highly recommend this charger.
See more on AMAZON
   We've also done a great deal of research into the many 18650 batteries that are available. These batteries offer 3400mAh and have a protection circuit built in. We highly recommend these batteries.
See more on AMAZON
   We're working closely with Greg Watson (he purchased several of these UV lights) to see just what you can expect from them. Soon we'll be publishing a more complete guide to their actual use in the desert. So far they are very promising. Look for a link at the bottom of the page!
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