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In the Solar system was once a “diamond” planet

Examining the mineral constituent of meteorites that fell to Earth in 2008,scientists have suggested that in the early Solar system existed the planet the size of mercury or even Mars, in the earth, growing diamond crystals.

In the Solar system was once a "diamond" planet

Four and a half billion years ago when the Solar system was formed around the Sun revolved many protoplanets. They faced each other; some as a result of these clashes became more, others were in pieces. From far away fragments of protoplanets formed by carbon-rich asteroids that are still orbiting our Sun.

A new analysis of the wreckage of one of these asteroids that fell to Earth in 2008, pointed to the fact that this asteroid was, in turn, a fragment of one of the lost planets of the Solar system.

The meteorites of Almahata Sitta flying over the Nubian desert in Africa ten years ago. Not all of them burned in the atmosphere; some fell in the sand, scientists were able to find several hundred coarse-grained, high-carbon space rocks — ureilites. Inside the meteorite was discovered the diamond crystals with a diameter up to 100 microns.

There are several hypotheses explaining the origin of diamonds in asteroids. The first is that the small diamonds are formed by collisions of large solid bodies planetologie; but the crystals in the Nuba ureilites was 100 times larger than those estimated, are formed in such collisions. The second hypothesis explains the origin of cosmic diamonds condensation of the carbon in the clouds interplanetary gas and dust — but such crystals must be less.

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A group of Swiss, German and French physicists, studying the diamonds Nubian meteorites, offered another explanation: scientists believe that these crystals grew in the depths of the protoplanet before it collided with another celestial body and turned. Other minerals (sulfides of iron) included in the composition of meteorites, scientists have estimated the size of the diamond protoplanet. To create the pressure required for the formation of sulfide crystals, protoplanet had to be less than mercury, and maybe even the size of Mars.

The study published in the journal Nature Communications.

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