Scientists Discover Rare Diamonds In Meteorite

8 OCT 2022

A team of scientists discovered lonsdaleite, a rare hexagonal type of diamond that may be stronger than normal diamonds, in ureilite meteorites formed in the mantle of a distant dwarf planet

The research was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by scientists from Monash University, RMIT University, CSIRO, the Australian Synchrotron, and Plymouth University (PNAS)

In a news release, RMIT Professor Dougam McCulloch, a member of the team, stated that the hexagonal structure of the atoms in lonsdaleite might possibly make it tougher than normal diamonds, which have a cubic structure

Scientists believe the lonsdaleite was produced around 4.5 billion years ago when the dwarf planet collided with a huge asteroid

The study found strong evidence that lonsdaleite was generated on the dwarf planet through a supercritical chemical vapour deposition process that occurred quickly after a "catastrophic collision

The team hypothesises that lonsdaleite originates in meteorites from a supercritical fluid at high temperature and moderate pressure