Scientists discovered a mineral that’s even stronger than diamond

Scientists have found lonsdaleite, a mineral that is more powerful than a diamond. The long-theorized mineral was just recently discovered in Africa as a result of meteorites that had fallen there. Scientists are unaware of how much of it is present on Earth, while it is thought to exist there in some form.

For many years, people thought that the hardest materials on Earth were diamonds. A recent finding has nevertheless called this assumption into question. According to NPR, this material, known as lonsdaleite, is thought to be around 58 percent stronger than diamonds.

Lonsdaleite is composed of carbon, just like the diamonds we are all familiar with and appreciate. Instead of the cubic atomic structure that diamonds have, it has a hexagonal pattern. This hexagonal shape enables a significantly more robust construction. This most recent finding is based on a collection of lonsdaleite found in an African meteor.

Scientists claim that mineral deposits left by the meteors helped to demonstrate that it is more durable than diamonds. Though scientists are unaware of the precise planet that gave birth to the dwarf planet, it is thought to have produced the meteors. At the beginning of this month, researchers released a study on lonsdaleite in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Space appears to have recently thrown much of what we thought we understood into chaos. In addition to James Webb’s findings confounding scientists, we have also succeeded in taking photographs of the Sun’s chromosphere for the first time. All of these developments are advancing our understanding of the cosmos and even challenging some of what we previously believed to be true.

One does start to wonder what else may be out there waiting to be discovered now that scientists have demonstrated that there is a material stronger than diamonds. What more minerals may James Webb find when viewing the exoplanets? Do these so-called “space jewels” originate from diamond-rich planets? And what aspects of our understanding will the upcoming findings question?

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