Back in 2008 a large chunk of rock hurtled into the Earth’s atmosphere. Most of it burned up on the way down, but some fragments of the meteorite landed in the deserts of Sudan. When scientists open up those fragments and examined them under a microscope, they found something very interesting: tiny, tiny, diamonds. Nanodiamonds!
Ten years later, in April 2018, planetary scientists published a paper in Nature arguing that the structure of those nanodiamond crystals could only have come from one place: deep inside a planet — a planet that no longer exists in our Solar System.
Tiny diamonds from space? Planetary destruction? Chris and Emily are totally up for that.
Syzygy is produced by Chris Stewart and co-hosted by Dr Emily Brunsden from the Department of Physics at the University of York.
Some of the things we talk about in this episode:
TESS mission: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y3niFzo5VLI
The nanodiamond meteorite paper: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-018-03808-6
Guardian article on the story: https://www.theguardian.com/science/2018/apr/17/diamonds-in-sudan-meteorite-are-remnants-of-lost-planet
The Asteroid Belt: https://www.universetoday.com/32856/asteroid-belt/
Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, lizardy sock puppet: https://youtu.be/MLtlcSR9A6M
Solar System formation: http://hubblesite.org/hubble_discoveries/discovering_planets_beyond/how-do-planets-form
Exploding meteor over Russia in 2013: https://youtu.be/fBLjB5qavxY
Meteorites in Antarctica: https://www.space.com/14316-hundreds-meteorites-antarctica-scientists.html