Revealed: Mystery behind diamond-studded meteorite that hit earth in 2008

Researchers at Southwest Research Institute based in Texas, US, have claimed that they have succeeded in revealing the mystery behind a diamond-studded meteorite that exploded over Sudan in 2008. According to researchers, the meteorite was part of a giant asteroid, which was the same size as the dwarf planet Ceres. 

The meteorite was first spotted by NASA and according to NASA before impact the celestial body was 13 foot in diameter. It weighed 8,200 kg. Later a team of researchers analysed 50 grams of meteorite under an infrared microscope and found that the meteorite had a unique mineral makeup. The study showed that the meteorite had ‘amphibole’ which requires prolonged exposure to water in order to develop.

“Some of these meteorites are dominated by minerals providing evidence for exposure to water at low temperatures and pressures,” study co-author Vicky Hamilton, a planetary geologist at the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado, said in the statement. “The composition of other meteorites points to heating in the absence of water.”

The researchers said that the meteorite which exploded over Sudan belongs to the category of 4.6 per cent of celestial bodies that have been found and researched on Earth. These black rocks are made up of carbonaceous chondrite. The space rock also contains organic compounds,  minerals and water.

The scientists are also hoping to discover new things from samples collected by Japan’s Hayabusa2 and NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft from asteroids Ryugu and Bennu. 

“If the compositions of the Hayabusa2 and OSIRIS-REx samples differ from what we have in our collections of meteorites, it could mean that their physical properties cause them to fail to survive the processes of ejection, transit and entry through Earth’s atmosphere, at least in their original geologic context,” Hamilton, who also serves on the OSIRIS-REx science team, added. “However, we think that there are more carbonaceous chondrite materials in the Solar System than are represented by our collections of meteorites.”

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