TC3 was a long lost planet of the solar system

It seems that the 80-metric-ton rock found on October 7, 2008, in Sudan, in the Nubian Desert contains traces of how our solar system was formed.

That meant one thing: this asteroid is part of a long-lost planet.

Using a powerful electron microscopy technique, scientists studied the composition of diamonds contained in the rock fragments that had dispersed over the Nubian Desert (northern Sudan) after the asteroid explosion.

Meteorite hunters recovered about 50 fragments, which researchers later named the "Almahata Sitta" collection after a nearby train station in Sudan. This indicated to the scientists that they originally formed inside a planetary body ranging in size between Mercury and Mars, suggesting the ureilites were, in fact, the last remaining remnants of one of these lost planets.

An asteroid containing large diamonds that hit the Earth in 2008 came from a "lost" planet in our solar system that existed billions of years ago, says a new study.

"'[T] his is the first compelling evidence for such a large body that has since disappeared", wrote the authors of a new study, published Monday in Nature Communications. "We don't have much evidence from those specific planetary embryos".

Two planets violently collide in space.

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There are three formation models for ureilite: shock-driven transformation of carbon to diamond via high-speed impact; chemical vapour deposition inside the solar nebula; and static high-pressure inside a larger body, such as a protoplanet.

The study showed the diamonds must have formed at pressures above 20 gigapascals.

The planet was slightly bigger than Mercury and was destroyed in a comic collision as these valuable diamonds give scientists a glimpse into the formation of planets.

According to the researchers, they said that all the ureilite asteroids are the remains of the same proto-planet. Diamond is blue, inclusions are yellow, and graphite is gray-black.

The impurities trapped within the Almahata Sitta diamonds - crystals of chromite, phosphate and iron-nickel-sulfide - are the first to have been discovered in an extraterrestrial diamond. Because of that, they concluded the diamonds most likely formed in an environment found only inside rocky planets.

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.

Such planetary embryos got ejected from the solar system and either became rogue planets or smashed together. Some of these bodies were almost as big as Mars and one of them, dubbed Theia, collided with Earth to throw our moon into orbit.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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