Diablo Canyon meteorite could improve electrical component design

Scientists have discovered a fascinating and complex tiny structure that had never been seen before when examining diamonds inside an old meteorite.

The structure, which is an interlocking form of graphite and diamond, has special qualities that could one day be used to create faster charging or new types of electronics, the researchers say.

The “Diablo Canyon” meteorite, as it is known, hit the Earth around 50,000 years ago and was first discovered in Arizona in 1891. This meteorite is composed of ~90% you should~1-4% yesand up to 8.5% trollite– graphite nodules (FeS & C). The original mass was estimated to be 100 feet in diameter and about 60,000 tons.

It is believed that the strange diamond structures formed and were encased in the meteorite during this event.

This meteorite contains diamonds, but not the common varieties. Most diamonds form nearly 90 miles (150 kilometers) below the Earth’s surface, where temperatures can reach over 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit (1,093 degrees Celsius). The temperature and pressure at this depth cause the carbon atoms to arrange themselves into cubic shapes.

In contrast, the diamonds found inside the “Canyon Diablo” meteorite have a hexagonal crystal structure and are known as lonsdaleite (named after British crystallographer Dame Kathleen Lonsdale, the first female professor at University College London). These types of crystals, it was discovered, can only form at incredibly high pressures and temperatures.

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