STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Opal. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of the fractured surface of an opal, a type of precious stone. Opal is a form of hydrated, amorphous silica (SiO2). The glittering iridescent colours of an opal are due to water molecules trapped in the silica structure.
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