Nearly a decade ago, a meteorite entered the atmosphere of the Earth, where it exploded and got scattered in the Nubian desert of Sudan.
Was found after the explosion, the meteor was mainly composed of coarse-grained rocks (olivine and pyroxene), which could be formed in the mantle of "planet-Bud", and the concentration of carbon in them was unusually high.
Scientists have discovered that tiny diamonds found inside a meteorite show signs of originating in a lost planet - one that dates back to the earliest days of the Solar System. Because diamonds are forged at vast pressures and temperatures, typically deep inside the planet, the various materials that get trapped inside are quite hard to get a hold of at the surface - and diamonds can preserve them for billions of years. It's the first time such inclusions have been identified inside extraterrestrial diamonds. These diamonds had chromite, phosphate, and (Fe, Ni)-sulfide inclusions - all of which pointed toward a formation pressure higher than 20GPa.
Dr Nabiei continued saying, "Although this is the first compelling evidence for such a large body that has since disappeared, their existence in the early solar system has been predicted by planetary formation models".
Our solar system wasn't always made of nine eight planets-early in its development, there may have been several more nascent worlds developing around the sun.
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The researchers studied the diamond samples using a combination of advanced transmission electron microscopy techniques.
This is the Almahata Sitta ureilite achondritic meteorite, and it's full of diamonds.
However, these processes result in different size diamonds.
"I thought, if there were diamonds forming inside a planet, inside a parent body, they could have trapped some material from their environment", Nabiei said. "For most diamonds on Earth, we can't tell where they came from based on the diamond itself, so instead we look at inclusions". They could only have formed under incredible pressure - the equivalent of diving 600 kilometers into Earth's interior or attempting to hold up 100,000 tons with your bare hands. These proto-planets varied in size from those as small as our moon today to those as big as Mars.
"This study provides convincing evidence that the ureilite parent body was one such large "lost" planet before it was destroyed by collisions some 4.5 billion years ago", the researchers were quoted as saying by EPFL in a news release on Tuesday. According to the scientists, they reported that this type of conditions can only be possible in large planet body not in all planets.
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