eTraining Introduction

Specimen Preparation

Leica Ultracut UCT



Hitachi S-4700 FE-SEM

Hitachi FB-2000A FIB


Veeco Dim 3000 AFM

Fluorescence Microscopes


X-Ray Mapping

Interactive X-Ray Mapping Challenge


Lunar SurfaceMinnesota Lunar Simulant (MLS) is a basalt originating from a lava flow in the south part of Duluth. This flow was used by NASA scientists when they went to the moon because its overall composition matches that of lunar basalts. Both lunar and Martian simulants are needed in large quantities for testing the materials science and engineering behind extraterrestrial minerals and soils. Such studies will prepare us to utilize planetary rock as a resource and to mitigate dust contamination of equipment on manned expeditions to Mars and returns to the Moon.

Basalts bear much information about the early geology of the planet, contained in their minerals and chemical composition. In this challenge, you will identify distinct minerals present in a small sample of MLS. The minerals form grains, or regions, of millimeter and sub-millimeter size within the sample. Mineral constituent data are provided below. Examine the X-ray maps in the activity, which indicate elemental distributions by color. Rollover the maps to get hints, or view the EDS X-ray spectra below to assist in identification. The spectra were obtained prior to mapping by zooming into each region and performing an EDS qualitative analysis. Open the X-Ray Mapping Challenge in its own window.

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Data Set 1: Minnesota Lunar Simulant Minerals

Clinopyroxene Ilmenite Olivine
(Ca, Mg, Fe)2Si2O6 FeTiO3 (Mg, Fe)2SiO4
Orthopyroxene Plagioclase Ti rich Magnetite
(Mg, Fe)SiO3 NaAlSi3O8 → CaAl2Si2O8 (Fe2+)(Fe3+)2O4 → Fe2TiO4

Data Set 2: EDS Spectra for Each Sample Region

Region 1 Region 2 Region 3 Region 4 Region 5 Region 6
Spectrum Region 1 Spectrum Region 2 Spectrum Region 3 Spectrum Region 4 Spectrum Region 5 Spectrum Region 6


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