Researchers of California Institute of Technology (Caltech), discovered a new mineral that had never before been seen in nature.
The mineral called edscottite was housed inside a meteorite found near Wedderburn in downtown Victoria, in Australia in 1951.
The group of scientists believes that the new mineral was probably forged in the molten core of an ancient planet which was destroyed a long time ago, according to American Mineralogist.
After performing a meticulous analysis of the Wedderburn meteorite, which looks like a piece of metal the size of a lemon and now part of the Victoria Museum collection in Australia, it was like they found this new mineral.
Said mineral is composed of iron and carbon atoms mixed with a certain pattern. They called him edscottita, in honor of Edward Scott, a pioneer cosmochemist at the University of Hawaii.
“This meteorite had a lot of carbon. And as it cooled slowly, iron and carbon joined together and formed this mineral, “Dr. Stuart Mills, senior geoscience curator at Museums Victoria, told the Australian newspaper. The Age.
Scientists have encountered edscottite before, inside foundries. It is one of the phases that iron passes through when it melts into steel.
However, what stands out is that they have never seen it happen naturally. And minerals only get a name when you can find them in nature.
“We have discovered 500,000 to 600,000 minerals in the laboratory, but less than 6,000 that nature has done for itself,” Mills said.
According to Geoffrey Bonning, a planetary scientist at the National University of Australia, the mineral could be expelled from the nucleus of another planet formed by asteroids and at some point it was heated and the metal in the nucleus dripped.
It was then that heat and pressure generated minerals such as Edscottite, and then, at some point, the planet was destroyed.
He was probably hit by another planet or moon, or a large asteroid, Bonning said.
“The collision debris spread through the solar system, much of which ended up in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. The Wedderburn meteor circled there for a few million years, before an accidental collision will send to Earth “, details the same means mentioned.