Meteorite Diamonds present on Earth came from a lost planet

Artist impression of an early solar system. Credit NASA

In 2008, chunks of space rock crashed in the deserts of Sudan.

But that is not even the coolest thing about Almahata Sitta. The original asteroid is known as 2008 TC3 and scientists believe that meteorite diamonds that fell in the desert from the explosion could hold information about a long-lost stellar neighbor that was destroyed when the solar system was starting to form.

Our stellar neighborhood has eight main planetary bodies, but according to an worldwide team of scientists, there could have been another planet in our backyard, one that might have been destroyed at infancy during the chaotic formation of the solar system or in the ensuing years.

Astronomers think swarms of protoplanets - balls of gas, dust, and rock about the size of Mercury or Mars - once swirled around our young sun. That would mean that the original planetary body was at least as big as the planet Mercury, assuming these diamonds formed at its center. "This is part of the story of how we came to be".

Addi Bischoff, a meteorite expert at the University of Muenster, Germany, said the methods used for the study were sound and the conclusion was plausible. Unlike other meteorites, which can be traced to parent bodies such as asteroids, Mars or the moon by comparing the ratios of different varieties of elements, these rocks have no known source.

A chemical map shows sulfur and iron inside the inclusions in the diamond matrix. Credit Dr. F. Nabiei  Dr. E. Oveisi EPFL Switzerland
A chemical map shows sulfur and iron inside the inclusions in the diamond matrix. Credit Dr. F. Nabiei Dr. E. Oveisi EPFL Switzerland

On Earth, diamonds are time capsules with fascinating stories to tell.

And inside this one, they found diamonds. Among those minerals were microscopic crystals of diamond and graphite-two minerals composed entirely of carbon atoms.

"Then this opens whole new idea", Nabiei said. No, because it's been blown to bits, billions of years ago. The chemical ingredients found inside the diamonds suggest that they were formed inside a planet or protoplanet that disappeared at the time of chaotic early phase of the Universe. He laughed. "And indeed they did".

Their analysis also revealed that the fragments contained chromite, phosphate, and iron-nickel sulfides, chemicals or "inclusions" that are commonly found in Earth-originated meteorites but were never observed in a space rock fragment before this. According to the scientists, they reported that this type of conditions can only be possible in large planet body not in all planets. Nabiei can't say for sure. By the end of that era, about 100 million years after the birth of the solar system, only the four current terrestrial planets remained.

"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]", researchers wrote in the new paper on the subject, published this week in the journal Nature Communications. But at first, the origins of the diamonds eluded researchers.

Wild Fires destroy homes evacuations
Oklahoma Forestry companies claims constructions are ruined, but they are unable to assess damage as the flame is still burning. Days after a fire ravaged the small town of Martha, cleanup continues, along with efforts to help victims recover.

Related:

Comments

Latest news

The Entire Island Of Puerto Rico Just Lost Power Again
Concerns about the island's power grid mounts as June 1, the start of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season, approaches. PREPA attributed the blackout to a failure in a line that begins in the island's largest power plant.

Giants select Saquon Barkley in Albert Breer's mock draft 4.0
That said, the team should have more than enough time to develop Mayfield before he will be truly needed under center. Said one executive, "That's all amusing when you're not getting 50 people fired if you miss on a quarterback".

People who know Brady aren't sure he'll play in 2018
The answer apparently as easy as it seemed after the Patriots lost in the Super Bowl to the Philadelphia Eagles. There's also been some reported friction between the future Hall of Fame quarterback and coach Bill Belichick .

NIA judge who delivered verdict in Mecca Masjid blast case resigns
However, in 2017 April, Jaipur court acquitted Swamy Aseemananda and six others in a case connected to Ajmer Dargah blast case. Seven years down the line and after examining over 200 witnesses the judge Janardhan Reddy acquitted all the five accused.

Ariana Grande teases new music: 'no tears left to cry'
Whilst you're here, remind yourself of the touching moment Ariana comforted a crying school girl at the One Love Manchester show. The singer, who hasn't posted since 1 January, also told her 56.8m followers " miss you " before posting a tear drop emoji.

Amazon, Best Buy partner to sell Fire smart TVs
The devices will be sold exclusively through Best Buy and Amazon.com and via the retailer's chain of brick-and-mortar stores. Starting this summer, Best Buy will launch more than 10 4K and HD Fire TV Edition models made by Toshiba and Insignia .

Fox News' Judicial Analyst Absolutely Shreds Hannity's Cohen Claim
But prosecutors also have said in court documents that they can't reveal anything about this case at this point in time. In a statement, Hannity sought to minimize his relationship with Cohen, saying he had never retained him as a lawyer.

UAE works on breaking up with Saudi Arabia, according to diplomatic leaks
In this April 17, 2018 photo, people gather at the King Abdullah Financial District Theater in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia . However, on the bright side recently Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said that abaya is not mandatory in Islam.

Rangers suspend Miller, captain Wallace
It is said that Wallace is likely to have played his last game for the club even though he has a year remaining on his contract. Both are senior figures in the Rangers side and they made their feelings towards Murty a little bit too clear.

SEGA Announces Shenmue 1 & 2 Remasters
The physical and digital editions will be available to pre-order from first party stores, Steam and USA and EMEA retailers soon. The Shenmue 1 & 2 remasters will be landing both digitally and physically on Xbox One, PS4, and PC.

Miranda Lambert's ACM Awards Guitar Had an Inscription From Loretta Lynn
The show opened with with a solemn tribute to the victims of last year's Route 91 Harvest Festival shooting in Las Vegas . He said, "The more time that goes by, I guess, the closer you'd be getting to that".

Gabrielle Union hints at playoff reward for Dwyane Wade
If Hart really caused Wade's big game, the Heat should offer him a courtside seat in Game 3 on Thursday night. The Spurs host game three on Thursday. "Just taking time to think, that's all I'm doing", Wade said.

Vladimir Putin condemns US-led airstrikes on Syria
The Washington Post editorial board was of the opinion that "Chemical attacks should be answered with cruise missiles". Trump, she said, has "talked to our allies and said they need to step up more ".

Teenager stabbed to death in Forest Gate
A teenager has died after a stabbing in east London overnight as the capital continues to be gripped by a surge in knife-crime. Dihan was wanted in several cases, including murder, snatching and extortion, lodged with Kotwali Police Station, the OC said.

Pence praises Peru's stand on Venezuelan crisis
The summit in Peru is a once-every-three-years meeting of leaders from across Latin America , the U.S. and Canada. As opposed to past looks at global summits, the vice president needed to dip to the crowded agenda on small note.

Other news