Quartz-like Crystals Found in Planetary Quartz-like crystals found in planetary disks

NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope has, for the first time, detected tiny quartz-like crystals sprinkled in young planetary systems. The crystals, which are types of silica minerals called cristobalite and tridymite, can be seen close-up in the black-and-white insets (cristobalite is on the left, and tridymite on the right). The main picture is an artist’s concept of a young star and its swirling disk of planet-forming materials.

Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech