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celestite

celestite Mineral SrSO4 which may form a solid solution series with barite; sp. gr. 3.9–4.0; hardness 3.0–3.5; orthorhombic; faint blue to colourless, sometimes stained red; white streak; vitreous lustre; crystals normally very tabular, resembling barite, but can also occur fibrous and granular; cleavage perfect basal {001}, present {210}, {010}; often fluorescent; occurs in sedimentary rocks, particularly dolomites, as a cavity-lining in association with barite, gypsum, anhydrite, and halite, with gypsum and anhydrite in evaporite deposits, also as a gangue mineral in hydrothermal veins with galena and sphalerite, and it will form concretionary masses in clays and marls. It is the main ore mineral for strontium and strontium compounds.

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strontium

strontium (symbol Sr) Silvery-white, metallic element of the alkaline-earth metals in Group II of the periodic table. Resembling calcium physically and chemically, it occurs naturally in strontianite and celestite and is extracted by electrolysis. It was isolated in 1808 by English chemist Sir Humphry Davy. Strontium salts are used to colour flares and fireworks red. The isotope Sr90 (half-life 28 years) is a radioactive element present in fallout, from which it is absorbed into milk and bones; it is used in nuclear reactors. Strontium salts are used in fireworks and signal flares. Properties: at.no. 38; r.a.m. 87.62; r.d. 2.554; m.p. 769°C (1416°F); b.p. 1384°C (2523°F).

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celestite

celestite (sĕl´əstīt) or celestine (sĕl´əstĬn, –tīn), mineral appearing in blue-tinged or white orthorhombic crystals or in fibrous masses. The natural sulfate of strontium, SrSO4, it is important as a source of strontium and of certain of its compounds, e.g., strontium hydroxide, used in refining beet sugar, and strontium nitrate, used in red signal flares. It occurs in England, in Sicily, and in the United States on islands in Lake Erie and also in Pennsylvania, New York, and Ohio.

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