Blogging a crystal structure a day in 2014


Contributed by

Helen Maynard-Casely

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

Image generated by the VESTA (Visualisation for Electronic and STructural analysis) software

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 Crystallography Open Database.