Out-of-This World Diamond-Studded Rock Just Got Even Weider

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 Out-of-This World Diamond-Studded Rock Just Got Even Weider

Post by Doka » 01-23-2018 04:24 PM


Out-of-This-World Diamond-Studded Rock Just Got Even Weirder



By Stephanie Pappas, Live Science Contributor | January 11, 2018 06:54pm ET

The diamonds that are studding the Hypatia stone probably formed from the shock when the space rock blasted through Earth's atmosphere.

A tiny chunk of stone that looks like nothing else ever seen in the solar system might be even weirder than scientists thought.

The Hypatia stone was found in southwestern Egypt in 1996. It was hardly more than a pebble, just 1.3 inches (3.5 centimeters) wide at its widest and a smidge over an ounce (30 grams) in weight. But analysis revealed that the stone (dubbed "Hypatia" for a fourth-century female mathematician and philosopher) fit into no known category of meteorite. Now, a new study suggests that at least some parts of the stone may have formed before the solar system did.

If so — and that is a big "if" — the stone might reveal that the dust cloud that eventually congealed into our solar system was not as uniform as previously believed. [Big Bang to Civilization: 10 Amazing Origin Events]

Oddball discovery

When the Hypatia stone was first discovered, researchers weren't sure where it came from. Because it is studded with microdiamonds 50 nanometers to 2 micrometers in size, one possibility was that it was a strange example of a type of diamond known as a carbonado diamond. But studies in 2013 and 2015 definitively knocked out that possibility: The ratios of noble gases in the stone show that it is most certainly from out of this world. (The diamonds probably formed from the shock when the space rock blasted through Earth's atmosphere.)

Some parts of the Hypatia stone may have formed before the solar system did, scientists now say.
Some parts of the Hypatia stone may have formed before the solar system did, scientists now say.

"This is a piece of extraterrestrial material," said Guillaume Avice, a postdoctoral scholar of geochemistry at the California Institute of Technology who participated in the 2015 study.

But that's about all that can be definitively said about the Hypatia stone. The makeup of the rock matches no known meteorite. In fact, the rock hasn't been officially categorized as a meteorite, even though it came from space, because only about 0.14 ounces (4 grams) of the original mass of the rock can currently be accounted for. It's not that the rest is permanently lost, Avice said, but it's been chipped apart and sent around to so many labs that fragments are all over the place. The Meteoritical Society requires 20 percent of a meteorite's original mass to be present to officially declare it to be a meteorite.

Mysterious minerals
In the new study, researchers focused on the minerals in the Hypatia stone. They discovered that the stone itself is not uniform, but consists of a carbon-rich matrix shot through with a variety of minerals. These mineral inclusions are as weird as the rest of the rock, the research team found. They include pure metallic aluminum nuggets, an extremely rare find in the solar system; moissanite and silver iodine phosphide grains; and strange ratios of elements that fail to match the typical ratios of solar system objects. For example, unlike any other solar object ever found, these minerals include a nickel-phosphide compound with very high ratios of nickel to iron.
"There is no known or imaginable mechanism that [this compound] could have been produced naturally in the solar nebula," study leader Jan Kramers, a geologist at the University of Johannesburg, told Live Science in an email.
https://www.livescience.com/61409-extra ... tification
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Re:  Out-of-This World Diamond-Studded Rock Just Got Even Weider

Post by Doka » 01-23-2018 05:04 PM

Once we finally get our selves into space, perhaps, kicking and screaming all the way, until we discover the "Riches" that await us. Soon it will be time for us humans to become space voyagers , a leap up for us, in the cosmic scheme of things.
There is no known or imaginable mechanism that [this compound] could have been produced naturally in the solar nebula," study leader Jan Kramers, a geologist at the University of Johannesburg, told Live Science in an email.
And Jan Kramers knows this because....??

Has traveled many times to the "solar nebula"

It's not that way on Earth, and we know everything.

Under some sort of "Grant" that's up for renewal

ETC.
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