What is our planet made out of? 6) Magnesiowüstite

What does it look like?

Image generated by the VESTA (Visualisation for Electronic and STructual analysis) software http://jp-minerals.org/vesta/en/

Image generated by the VESTA (Visualisation for Electronic and STructual analysis) software http://jp-minerals.org/vesta/en/

What is it?

Looking at yesterday’s structure silicate perovskite, which has a lot of silicon, you’ll realise that on transforming from ringwoodite to perovskite (as happens at about 650 km under out feet) then you’ll have a lot of iron, magnesium and oxygen left over. What happens to these elements is that they form into the mineral Magnesiowüstite. Again it’s a familiar structure, the rock salt structure that these elements take up.

Where did the structure come from?

The structure of Magnesiowüstite, from a crystal at nearly 23 GPa is #9006103 in the open crystallographic database.

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