These hexagonal diamonds, called lonsdaleite, are harder than usual diamonds found on earth.
Very rare ‘space diamonds’ have been found in West Africa which have been said to come from an old dwarf planet from our solar system. Their diamonds are called lonsdaleite. A group of researchers has found lonsdaleite from a meteorite of a far away dwarf planet which can be put into some industrial use. The researchers emphasize that these diamonds have the potential to be harder than regular, land-made diamonds we find on earth.
The meteorites that they come from are called ureilite meteorites, and with the discovery of which scientists and researchers have confirmed the existence of this space diamond in nature.
The team of researchers has said to find ‘compelling evidence that this diamond was created in the said dwarf planet soon after a catastrophic collision took place instigating a supercritical chemical vapor deposition process.
Professor Dougam McCulloch who is a team member and serves as the director of the RMIT Microscopy and Microanalysis Facility said that the reason for the diamonds to be stronger in comparison to other diamonds is predicted to be a hexagonal atom structure present in it.
It is speculated by scientists that lonsdaleite may have been developed from the collision of the parent dwarf planet and a huge asteroid 4.5 billion years ago.
He further added that this study categorically proves that this diamond is present in nature and that they have also discovered that the largest of its crystals known to date have a size of up to a micron, much thinner than a strand of hair.
Geologist Andy Tomkins who led this study, in a press statement said that nature has provided ‘us with a process to try and replicate in industry.’ The researchers think that lonsdaleite can be put to good use to make thinner, ultra-harder machine parts if an industrial process is to be developed to promote the replacement of pre-shaped graphite parts by this discovery.
Read More: The Scientists Discover A Rare Diamond In A Meteorite