Back in 2008, some pieces that belonged to a diamond that was encased in rock fell from space and landed in the Nubian Desert of Sudan. Now, a new study, which the journal Nature Communications recently published, says that the meteorite crystals actually offer a more detailed look and the first physical evidence of a building block that dates from our ancient solar system. According to the researchers, the Almahata Sitta meteorite was once part of a protoplanet. This was one of those very early world that suffered a lot of changes and impacts which finally led to the creation of the planets we now have in our solar system
According to the new study, the fact that these meteorite crystals actually exist is incredible. Until now, simulation models were the only way in which experts were able to predict their existence. It seems that this particular diamond meteorite originated from a planet that was between the moon and Mars in size. During the first 10 million years of our solar system, it collided with many other space objects and doesn’t exist as a planet anymore.
The meteorite diamonds came from a protoplanet
According to the study, crystals can sometimes fulfill the roles of time capsules. They can trap certain minerals dating from the beginning of the formation process which experts can then analyze. On our planet, experts use diamonds to establish the composition and structure of Earth’s deepest layers.
Upon analysis, the Almahata Sitta meteorite revealed that it is actually a achondrite, which is a very rare type of space rock. According to the research team, this meteorite either came from an early planet or from a very big asteroid. Moreover, because of its incredibly-high amounts of carbon, the meteorite is actually a ureilite, which is a separate, specific type of meteorite.
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