Silica polymorphs, such as quartz, tridymite, cristobalite, coesite, stishovite, seifertite, baddeleyite-type SiO2
, high-pressure silica glass, moganite, and opal, have been found in lunar and/or martian rocks by macro-microanalyses of the samples and remote-sensing observations on the celestial bodies. Because each silica polymorph is stable or metastable at different pressure and temperature conditions, its appearance is variable depending on the occurrence of the lunar and martian rocks. In other words, types of silica polymorphs provide valuable information on the igneous process (e.g., crystallization temperature and cooling rate), shock metamorphism (e.g., shock pressure and temperature), and hydrothermal fluid activity (e.g., pH and water content), implying their importance in planetary science. Therefore, this article focused on reviewing and summarizing the representative and important investigations of lunar and martian silica from the viewpoints of its discovery from lunar and martian materials, the formation processes, the implications for planetary science, and the future prospects in the field of “micro-mineralogy”.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited