anorthite

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English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

From Ancient Greek "less than straight, not perpendicular" - a reference to the odd angles at which crystals grow.

Noun[edit]

anorthite (plural anorthites)

  1. (mineralogy) A plagioclase feldspar, the final member of the Albite-Anorthite solid solution series. Anorthite is very rare on Earth, but abundant in moon rocks. This is because Anorthite weathers rapidly to clay minerals under atmospheric conditions. Good crystals have been found in lava-digested limestone blocks erupted from Mount Vesuvius.
  • Chemical composition: Calcium aluminum silicate, CaAlSi_3O_8
  • Physical properties:
    • Moh's Hardness: 6.0
    • Specific gravity: 2.76
    • Color: Shades of gray, often with a blue, purple, or green cast
    • Luster: glassy
    • Fracture: conchoidal
    • Cleavage: two good at about 94º to each other
    • Habit: Triclinic - pinacoidal. Crystals are well developed, forming massive clumps, and are both twinned and striated.

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