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Powerful synchrotron light confirms the presence of rare diamond in stony meteorites

Australian and worldwide researchers have used ANSTO’s Australian Synchrotron to substantiate the presence of an uncommon diamond present in stony meteorites.

The ureilite meteorites include a uncommon hexagonal type of diamond, lonsdaleite, that will have been fashioned shortly after an historical dwarf planet collided with a big asteroid about 4.5 billion years in the past.

The workforce of scientists from Monash College, RMIT College, CSIROthe Australian Synchrotron and Plymouth College confirmed the existence of lonsdaleite and clarified the way it was fashioned in a paper within the Proceedings of the Nationwide Academy of Sciences (PNAS) journal. The examine was led by geologist Professor Andy Tomkins from Monash College.

Beamline scientists Dr Andrew Langendam and Dr Helen Model assisted the workforce with experiments on the powder diffraction beamline.


Mineral maps highlighting the partial alternative of lonsdaleite by diamond Copyright: Authors Sequential Lonsdaleite to Diamond Formation in Ureilite Meteorites by way of In Situ Chemical Fluid/Vapor Deposition PNAS 119 (38) e2208814119

“Data that indicated the presence of lonsdaleite was gained by different strategies, however what was wanted most was affirmation of lonsdaleite,” defined Dr Langendam.

“Our powder diffraction beamline is ready to differentiate complicated mineral phases, reminiscent of these discovered within the meteorites.

“X-ray diffraction revealed a collection of peaks representing pyroxene, goethite, olivine and lonsdaleite,” he added.

“As a result of our workforce has labored extensively with meteorites, we had been capable of distinguish the lonsdaleite from diamond and from the opposite minerals regardless of their smeared peaks, created by structural variability.”

The analysis workforce urged that the bizarre construction of lonsdaleite may assist inform new manufacturing strategies for ultra-hard supplies in mining functions.

Learn extra on the RMIT web site


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