BSE image of karwowskiite crystals | Photo by Irina and Evgeny Galuskin (click to enlarge image)
| Prof. Evgeny Galuskin |
| Prof. Irina Galuskina |
| Krzysztof Szopa, PhD, DSc, Assoc. Prof. |
At the end of October 2023, the Commission of New Minerals, Nomenclature and Classification of the International Mineralogical Association (CNMNC-IMA) approved a new mineral, karwowskiite, with the ideal formula Ca9Mg(Fe2+0.5□0.5)(PO4)7 (IMA2023-080).
The mineral was named after Prof. Łukasz Karwowski (1945–2022) – long-time employee of the University of Silesia in Katowice, outstanding mineralogist, discoverer of two new phosphate minerals found in the Morasko meteorite. He was also the founder, then president and the first (and so far only) honorary president of the Polish Meteorite Society. Prof. Ł. Karwowski was one of the best researchers of meteorites, in particular phosphates, the most typical of which is merrillite, which is not found on Earth.
A letter of congratulations from the chair of CNMNC-IMA, Prof. Ferdinando Bosi was sent on 5 November 2023 to the team of authors, which includes four employees of the University of Silesia: Prof. Evgeny Galuskin and Prof. Irina Galuskina from the Faculty of Natural Sciences of the University of Silesia, as well as Prof. Eng. Joachim Kusz and Maria Książek, PhD from the Faculty of Science and Technology of the University of Silesia. Yevgeny Vapnik from Ben-Gurion University in Israel and Grzegorz Zieliński, PhD from the Polish Geological Institute – National Research Institute (PIG-PIB) in Warsaw also cooperated with the researchers.
The new mineral was found in Jordan near the city of Al Qatrana. Karwowskiite belongs to the merrillite group and is a specific terrestrial “meterorite” mineral. It co-occurs with nickelphosphide (Ni,Fe)3P, previously found only in meteorites. The photo from the scanning microscope shows trigonal karwowskiite crystals. These are the first well-formed crystals of minerals of the merrillite group found.