Most of the planetary ices are simple small molecules that crystallize in approximately cubic-close packing. However, since the molecules themselves do not have cubic symmetry, their crystals do not, either. In the case of sulfur dioxide, the unit cell differs from cubic by only a couple of per cent in edge length, but the resulting symmetry is orthorhombic. The unit cell dimensions in nanometers are 0.607, 0.594 and 0.614.
Sulfur dioxide is probably one of the principal materials in the white regions on Io, the volcanic, sulfur coated moon of Jupiter.
Created 22 Sept 1997, Last Update 22 Sept 1997
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