Scientists from Monash University in Australia have discovered that diamonds formed in an ancient dwarf planet from our solar system, and the mystery of meteorites containing diamonds found around the world has been solved. It is possible that the planet collided with a giant asteroid about 4.5 billion years ago, resulting in degrees High heat and moderate pressures.
According to the British newspaper, “Daily Mail”, these conditions caused the graphite in the space rock to undergo a process that turned it into Lonsdalite, a rare hexagonal form of diamond.
This was also partially replaced by ordinary diamond, a tetrahedral network of carbon atoms, as the planet cooled and the pressure decreased.
“Nature has thus provided us with a process to try to replicate in industry,” said Professor Andy Tomkins, geologist and principal investigator.
Scientists have studied 18 samples of urilite meteorites collected from around the world to verify their origin, and urelites are a rare group of stony meteorites that make up less than one percent of those that fall to Earth, and they contain diamonds of pre-Earth origin, some of which In the form of lonsdaleite.
While ordinary diamonds contain carbon atoms in a solid tetrahedral arrangement, the atoms in Lonsdalite are in a hexagonal lattice.
The researchers used advanced electron microscopy techniques to visualize the meteorite slices that revealed how diamond structures formed. They believe they came from the mantle of a dwarf planet that collided with an asteroid and led to chemical vapor deposition, a process in which gas molecules interact to form a solid layer on a hot substrate, layer by layer.