Published: Thu, April 19, 2018
Sci-tech | By Jackie Newman

Space diamonds came from planet lost billions of years ago

Space diamonds came from planet lost billions of years ago

The findings of the study, published this week in the journal Nature Communications, revealed that the diamond inlays contained in this meteorite originated on a lost planet that circulated through the primitive solar system when it was about only 10 million years old.

A meteorite that fell to Earth in 2008 contains diamonds forged at the heart of a dead, long-lost planet.

Using electron microscopy, scientists have studied in detail the diamonds, with the result that it became clear that the original amount of precious metal in URALITA was 100 micrometers.

This means that the parent body inside which they were formed (i.e. the ancient planet where 2008 TC3 came from) was bigger than Mercury and possibly even as large as Mars.

Since the tiny diamonds found in the Almahata Sitta meteorites have a similar composition to the ones here on Earth, the logical explanation of how they came to be is that they were fashioned in the same - by "the "normal" static pressure inside the parent body", notes the EPFL. Sudan's meteorite is estimated to be one of the last remnants of that primitive planet pre-plan that no longer exists. Some collisions formed larger worlds, while others created systems of planets and satellites like the Earth and its moon.

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While there are eight main planets orbiting the solar system, an global team of scientists believes that perhaps there could have been another planet that could have ceased to exist at the time when the planets and the solar system itself were chaotically forming.

Dr. Gillet's colleague Farhang Nabiei made the discovery while taking high-resolution images of a meteorite that had landed in the Nubian Desert in Sudan about a decade ago. After collecting the tiny meteorites, researchers discovered nano-size diamonds inside them.

Rest either went on to form bigger planetary bodies or ended up being destroyed by the sun or ejected out of the solar system. "This study provides convincing evidence that the ureilite parent body was one such large "lost" planet before it was destroyed by collisions some 4.5 billion years ago". According to the scientists, they reported that this type of conditions can only be possible in large planet body not in all planets. The environment likely looked very crowded too, with multiple Mars-sized protoplanets destined to collide into each other.

A mission recently selected by NASA called Psyche is expected to launch a spacecraft to the metallic core of an asteroid in 2022.

The Psyche probe, set to launch in 2022, will visit the dead planet and analyze its secrets. Some were thrown out of the solar system.

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