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pyroxene

pyroxene (pĪˈrŏksēn) [key], name given to members of a group of widely distributed rock minerals called metasilicates in which magnesium, iron, and calcium, often with aluminum, sodium, lithium, manganese, or zinc occur as X in the chemical formula XSiO3. The pyroxene minerals crystallize in three different systems—orthorhombic, monoclinic, and triclinic—but all have a fundamental prism with angles of 87° to 93° and cleavages parallel to the prism angles. They are commonly white, grayish white, greenish white, greenish black, black, or brown, but other varieties occur. Pyroxene minerals are found chiefly in igneous and metamorphic rocks and in lunar rocks. Varieties include enstatite, bronzite, hypersthene, diopside, wollastonite, augite, pectolite, spodumene, and rhodonite.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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