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    May 23

    untitled-137.jpegYou may take for granted the rarity of a diamond mined and polished on earth. How rare is this precious item, especially when compared to extraterrestrial diamonds? While extraterrestrial diamonds would certainly be a rarity on earth, how would they compare to the diamond potential of other planets in our solar system? There is such a thing as an alien diamond, even though alien life continues to be the subject of debate. Diamonds are not exclusively a product of earth. Diamonds are an allotrope of carbon in which carbon atoms are arranged in what is called an isometric-hexoctahedral crystal lattice. This means that diamonds could theoretically form on other planets as well as on meteors. In fact, the carbonado diamond or “Black Diamond”, is a natural polycrystalline diamond that was first found in alluvial deposits in the Central African Republic (as well as some parts of South America). The natural color of these diamonds is a distinct black color and it is shown to be far more porous than conventional diamonds.

    The stories of where and how this diamond came to be surfaced immediately after scientists analyzed the properties of this black diamond. The carbonado diamond had no mantle-derived inclusions and the carbon isotope value was very low, which was in contrast to other natural polycrystalline diamonds. This type of diamond was also shown to give off strong luminescent properties, which were brought on by nitrogen as well as by certain vacancies that were in the crystal lattice. What else did the analysis find out that could point to an out of this world origin? Radioactive inclusions were found to exist in the formation process of the carbonado diamond.

    While a few theories have abounded concerning the origins of this unique diamond, one of the most widely accepted theories is that it indeed an extraterrestrial diamond. A team of geologists published evidence that suggested that the diamond came from interstellar space. Their reasoning on this was the fact that black diamonds contained elements of nitrogen and hydrogen, something not found in earth-made diamonds. The theory was that the mineral that would make carbonado formed in a supernova explosion that took place before the beginning of man’s Solar System. Thus the black diamond is theorized to be similar to carbon-rich cosmic dust, which could have only formed in an environment near carbon stars. These diamonds could have been incorporated into solid bodies and then later fallen to earth as meteorites.

    Other cited examples of extraterrestrial diamonds include presolar grains found in some meteorites that contained nanodiamonds. The belief is that these probably formed inside supernovas. White dwarf stars have also been associated with extraterrestrial diamonds, as these stars do have a carbon core, which is the basis of diamond formation.

    The subject of diamonds from outer space continues to be a fascinating subject. Mankind has already sampled the finest of earth’s natural pleasures. Learning that there are other diamonds possibly of intergalactic origin would be an exciting thought. However, it should be noted that the black diamond was considered unsuitable for gemstones because of the strange look of the diamond’s properties, best described as melting glass. In fact, these black diamonds have been primarily used for industrial purposes since their discovery.

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    2 Responses to “Diamonds from Outer Space”

    1. Shaquana Rainville Says:

      Great article. Really Cool.

    2. Kesha Holtmeier Says:

      I thought this quote was very applicable “Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” – Thomas Jefferson

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