Diamonds in the sky

The non amateur stuff. Hawking, black holes, that sort of thing

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brian livesey
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Diamonds in the sky

Post by brian livesey »

The cores of some gas giants are thought to be coated in super-high carat diamonds, formed from high internal pressures. There are asteroids that might also harbor diamonds, but what about lesser gemstones?
Quite a few have arrived here from space. One is Enstatite. This is a mineral that has the brownish colour of jasper. There's also a rarer green type.
Enstatite has a hardness of 5-6 on the Mohs Scale of hardness, compared with diamond at the maximum of 10. The space mineral is present in jewellry, and is one of the few silicates to be found in crystalline form around planetary nebulae and is a main component of E-type asteroids: https://www.jtv.com/library/gemopedia/enstatite .
In 1952, an Enstatite meteorite weighing over 100 kg landed in a farmer's field in Canada and made a crater 1.5 m in diameter. The mineral is also present naturally in Earth's crust.
Moldavite is a cousin of Enstatite and is a type of tektite. The mineral has a forest green colour and a hardness of 5.5. Moldavite was formed by the asteroid impact that produced the Nordlinger Ries crater in Germany some 15 million years ago. The mineral is used in jewellry and as "healing crystals": https://www.jtv.com/library/gemopedia/moldavite.
There are rare black diamonds on the Earth that are thought to have been produced in a supernova explosion. Here's more about space gems:
http://gemrockauctions.com/learn/did-yo ... uter-space .
brian

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