Marl, a natural mixture of clay and calcium carbonate. It is a loose, earthy substance, usually gray or bluish in color. Marl deposits are formed in shallow lakes. The calcium carbonate marl is derived from the biological action of certain aquatic plants on dissolved carbonates. Shell marl contains shellfish remains. Greensand marl contains glauconite, or greensand, a silicate of potassium and iron. Marl is used to neutralize acid soils. Portland cement is sometimes made with marl instead of limestone.
When a star dies, it becomes a black hole. Once something passes through the it's gone for good, never to be seen or heard from again. If we lived next to a black hole, would it suck us in too?
Folks in Montana usually expect snow or rain to fall from the sky, not ash. But the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens in Washington flung ash across state lines. What is this gritty, gray stuff?