Diamonds in Meteorite May Hail from Our Ancient Solar System

Diamonds Found in a Meteorite Once Belonged to a Lost Planet in Our Solar System

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.

It seems that the 80-metric-ton rock found on October 7, 2008, in Sudan, in the Nubian Desert contains traces of how our solar system was formed.

The asteroid, now known as "2008 TC3", was just over four metres in diameter and fell in the Nubian desert in Sudan.

Specifically, the diamonds must have formed at 20 gigapascals, which is the kind of pressure found deep within a planet the size of Mars or Mercury - but the meteorites come from neither of these planets or any other planet that we know of for that matter. Because diamonds are forged at enormous pressures and temperatures, typically deep inside the planet, the various materials that get trapped inside are quite hard to get a hold of at the surface - and diamonds can preserve them for billions of years.

Our solar system wasn't always made of nine eight planets-early in its development, there may have been several more nascent worlds developing around the sun. The analysis of the data showed that the diamonds had chromite, phosphate, and iron-nickel sulfides embedded in them - what scientists refer to as "inclusions".

Studying the chemical contents inside the diamonds, the scientists concluded that they were captured by the diamonds during an extremely high-pressure phase that could be found only in a planetary body between the size of Mercury and Mars.

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Diamond inclusions appear blue in this colorized scanning transmission electron microscope image of Almahata Sitta meteorite No. 15.

"The particularly exciting thing is, [the researchers] have a really strong case with the pressures that they're measuring to say there really is no other way around the fact that this had to be a really big body present early in solar system history".

Ten years ago, a meteorite exploded in the sky above Sudan's Nubian Desert. First, it was a ureilite, a meteorite of unusual composition whose origin is disputed.

Farhang Nabiei, who is from Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne in Switzerland, along with his colleagues took the measurements provided gives them results which shows " the first compelling evidence for such a large body that has since disappeared".

Such planetary embryos got ejected from the solar system and either became rogue planets or smashed together.

He said the study provided convincing evidence that the ureilite parent body was one of the "lost" planets before it was destroyed.

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