On October 7th 2008 an asteroid hit Earth and landed in the Sudan desert. The asteroid sprayed space rocks across the sand that have been analysed thoroughly. It is believed that the space rocks that came out of the asteroid are diamonds that were formed over a billion years ago that were created from a forming planet that has now been destroyed.
Researchers estimate that the size of the planet would be in between Mercury and Mars. The space rocks also referred to as meteorites contained compounds that are very similar to diamonds found on Earth. Minerals in the meteorites included chromite, iron-nickel sulphides and phosphate. This new discovery of the diamonds is the first instant that components of diamonds have been found in an extra-terrestrial body. The findings of the researchers have been published in a new study of those involved.
These findings have given us more information regarding the initial days of our solar system that dates back 4.4 billion years ago. The theory is, is that the sun at the time had several planet “embryos” around it. The planets we see today are the embryos that coalesced and the embryos that we don’t see either fell into the sun or broke out of the orbit and went travelling through space.
Researchers found the meteorites approximately 37 kilometres above the Nubian Desert in Sudan. Those investigating the impact were able to gather 50 pieces that ranged from 1 to 10 centimetres in size.
From a technical stand point, a rock in space is classified as an asteroid, a meteor refers to a space rock that burns up within the atmosphere of Earth and the fragments that are left behind are referred to as meteorites. So the asteroid that collided left diamond component meteorites.
The tiny meteorites were collected and added into a collection that is called Station Six (translated from Arabic). The new discovery to deduce that a planet had been destroyed was from nano-sized diamonds within the meteorites. Originally researchers had no idea how the diamonds formed.
Recently the new study revealed that diamonds in the meteorites could have formed from pressures above 20 gigapascals. Researchers from the Federal Polytechnic School of Lausanne in Switzerland stated that the high levels of pressure in space could have only been possible from inside an embryo of a planet the size of Mercury to Mars.
They also added that the embryo of the planet would have been destroyed through collisions within space where the space rocks would be floating for an obscene amount of time.