There room all kinds of rocks and minerals that consist of our world – as well as our Moon and other rocky worlds. By examining them, we have the right to learn about the problems that permitted them to form.

In this activity, you’ll learn just how studies rocks ~ above Earth and also other planets. Then, play the role of scientist to complement images that "rocks" do of liquid bars v their correct descriptions.


1. Find out why we research geology ~ above Earth and other planets

Geologists are scientists who research a planet"s heavy features, like soil, rocks, and minerals. There are all kinds of rocks and also minerals that consist of our world – and the Moon, Mars, and other rocky worlds. By studying these features, we have the right to learn much more about just how rocky worlds form and change over time.

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About the image:"s Curiosity rover tests its drill top top Mars in respectable 2014. Photo credit:

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2. Learn just how we examine geology ~ above Earth and other planets

On Earth, geologists have actually the high-end of do observations and also collecting rock samples in person. To research rocks and soil on other planets, favor Mars, we have to rely top top spacecraft that have the right to use your cameras and tools come act as our eyes and also hands.

For example, Mars rovers favor Curiosity and Perseverance use cameras to send comprehensive pictures that the Martian surface ago to us on planet so we can check out from a distance. Us then to compare the pictures to well-known substances on earth to much better understand and also theorize around how the Martian rocks, soil, and also minerals formed.

About the image: The picture above, captured by"s Curiosity rover on Mars, reflects an outcropping – an area where ancient bedrock underneath the surface is exposed. Outcroppings on earth are recognized to form as a result of to run water and create gravel that"s a similar size and shape. By to compare this image of Mars to similar features ~ above Earth, geologists have actually been able come theorize that Mars could have likewise once had actually running water.

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3. Practice describing rock samples

To classify rocks, we make observations that offer us clues about how castle formed. Right here is few of the vocabulary geologists usage to describe and also classify rocks.

Geology Vocabulary


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Luster describes the sheen, glossiness, or reflectiveness that a surface, such as in this sample of obsidian.

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Cleavage describes the propensity to rest in level surfaces, generally in one, two, three, or four directions. Cleavage have the right to be viewed in this image of lower Mount spicy on Mars.

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Vesicles and voids are found when pockets that gas increased within the rock throughout formation. These are usual in volcano rocks, prefer this sample the basalt.
Inclusions are impurities found within the structure of a absent from once the rock was first formed. This impurities variety from solids come condensed pockets of gases. Inclusions room often found in meteorites, such as chondrites, and can be checked out in this sample that andesite.
While inclusions can take numerous forms, blebs aren’t just chunks that impurities – they space minerals cultivation within minerals, choose in this sample the granite. Usual examples room marble or diorite.

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Homogeneous/ Heterogeneous
Homogeneous refers to the level of evenness throughout the structure, such as in this sample the basalt (top). In contrast, a framework that is not very even would be called heterogeneous, prefer this sample the granite (bottom).
When a sample is really easily crushed, the is described as friable. This sandstone on Mars says that it might be easily damaged into smaller particles.

4. Take the Edible Rocks Quiz

A an excellent way to exercise classifying rocks is by explicate the structures uncovered inside various candy bars. Like rocks and also soil, liquid bars have functions that market clues about what they"re made of and how lock formed. Unlike through rocks, we can quickly see within candy bars by cut them in half, producing what"s dubbed a cross section.

Take the quiz below to see if you can enhance these photos of candy-bar cross-sections come the correct description. Click the View accuracy switch after girlfriend submit your answers come see how you did.

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5. An obstacle yourself through the real Rocks Quiz

Take the quiz below to watch if friend can enhance these photos of real earth and an are rocks to the correct description. Click the View accuracy switch after friend submit your answers come see exactly how you did.

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