These diamonds from space formed inside a long-lost planet, scientists say

19 April, 2018, 02:01 | Author: Yolanda Murray
  • An artist's illustration of a protoplanet

The crashing of the meteorite was witnessed by many in the town of Wadi Halfa and at a railway stop in the Nubian desert, known as "Station Six". A planetary embryo large enough to host these diamonds within it could have been blasted apart in the first 10 million years of the churning formation of the Solar System.

Microscopic diamonds were found inside the Almahata Sitta meteorite after it crashed into Earth a decade ago.

Was found after the explosion, the meteor was mainly composed of coarse-grained rocks (olivine and pyroxene), which could be formed in the mantle of "planet-Bud", and the concentration of carbon in them was unusually high.

The diamonds found in a meteorite that had fallen on Earth originate from a lost planet of our early solar system.

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The particular composition and morphology of these materials can only be explained if the pressure under which the diamonds were formed was higher than 20 GPa (giga-Pascals, the unit of pressure). These have been known for a long time to exist inside Earth's diamonds, but are now described for the first time in an extraterrestrial body.

They discovered chromite, phosphate and iron-nickel sulfide embedded in the diamond, with compositions and morphologies that could only have occurred under greater pressure than 20 gigapascals - almost 200,000 times that of sea level atmospheric pressure. "We think that there were probably many larger "parent" bodies in the early solar system, which have since been destroyed, so a since-destroyed body the size of Mercury is reasonable", he says.

Addi Bischoff, a meteorite expert at the University of Muenster, Germany, said the methods used for the study were sound and the conclusion was plausible.

The researchers tested and analyzed the asteroid findings using the technique of transmission electron microscopy, in order to come up with this theory.

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However, these processes result in different size diamonds.

The Almahata Sitta meteorite is the first evidence of this early stage. He plans to seek out similar meteorites and search them for inclusions that might provide clues about their origins.

Diamonds are considered as one of the most precious metals on Earth. This suggests that the diamonds formed deep in a body's interior and not on impact.

The planet was slightly bigger than Mercury and was destroyed in a comic collision as these valuable diamonds give scientists a glimpse into the formation of planets. "I thought, if there were diamonds forming inside a planet, inside a parent body, they could have trapped some material from their environment", Farhang Nabiei, materials scientist at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne and lead author of the study, tells Kaplan.

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