- How are diamonds formed?
- What have we learned from research into a diamond meteorite?
- Which diamonds do we already know came out of space?
“Is there life on Mars?” David Bowie wondered in 1971. Whether a conclusive answer to that question looms on the horizon is very doubtful. But the million-pound question is whether real diamonds can be found on other planets. You might soon be able to buy a real astronomical diamond. Scientists think that diamond planets could exist. This hypothesis is supported by recent research on diamonds from meteorites.
How are diamonds formed?
Diamonds are formed deep inside of the earth at a depth of between 150 and 200 kilometres. Because of the high pressure and temperature, carbon crystallizes, a process that takes millions of years. As a result, diamonds are very rare, and the global supply will someday be exhausted. The question that now arises is whether there are other planets in our Milky Way, apart from the Earth, that contain enough carbon to make the formation of diamonds possible.
Everything will depend on the density of the planet. A diamond is essentially carbon in a crystal structure at a density of 3.5 g/cm3. The question then is whether we are still talking about diamonds if the density is higher.
What have we learned from research into a diamond meteorite?
It is far from certain whether we will ever be able to buy diamonds from another planet, but there is always a chance. In 2008, a meteorite full of diamonds exploded above the Nubian Desert in Sudan. The University of Khartoum collected nearly 500 fragments for research. In April 2018, Swiss researchers published new findings about the origin of our solar system based on these fragments.
Researcher Philippe Gilet said that the meteorite was from one of the very first planets circling around the sun, before they collided to form the planets that we know today.
Which diamonds do we already know came out of space?
In 2004, scientists at the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics discovered a crystallized star that they named Lucy. Scientists now assume that the core of a star crystallizes when it dies, turning it into diamond. Lucy is no longer the only diamond planet. In October 2012, astronomers at Yale University discovered a planet that is supposed to consist of no less than one third diamonds.
Astronomers are not the only ones convinced that space contains a wealth of diamonds. American geologists claim that black diamonds must come from space. They support this theory on the basis of the presence of hydrogen in the stones and the very limited number of discovery sites. This all sounds a bit like science fiction, but they are getting support from more and more experts.
For the time being, you can only buy diamonds that came from the Earth. Browse through our wide range of high-quality diamond jewellery, or ask the BAUNAT experts for advice via chat, email or telephone.