Lonsdaleite, the strange interstellar diamond that would have formed inside an extinct planet
Found many years ago a strange interstellar diamond called lonsdaleite would have formed inside an extinct planetaccording to a study conducted by international researchers.
According to the report posted on the Tek Crispy website, this is an extremely hard form of diamond and scientists believe it originates from a different process than diamonds on Earth.
Traditional diamonds originate when graphite is slowly squeezed out by pressures deep within the Earth’s mantle. For its part, lonsdaleite would form in the chaos of a catastrophic collision in interplanetary space.
Its composition would also be different. Although it is a crystal made of carbon, its structure retains the hexagonal shape of graphite, something that does not even happen with terrestrial diamonds. In addition, it is much thinner than a human hair, which makes it difficult to analyze in laboratories.
A particular diamond in a particular meteorite
It was in 1967 when a group of scientists found this strange material, identified in a very particular meteorite called ureilite.
Urelite would have originated on a dwarf planet that was long extinct, which could indicate that its remains are roaming the entire Solar System in the form of a meteorite.
The foregoing supports the theory of the origin of the interstellar diamond, which would have been produced by collision and not by pressure like a terrestrial diamond. However, and curiously, other researchers have another hypothesis.
These scientists analyzed 18 samples of the ureilite meteorite by electron microscopy and concluded that lonsdaleite can form naturally and even in the laboratory. That leaves the door open to developing it on an industrial level and using it to make machine parts or rare rings.