Dwarf planet collision may have sent rare diamonds to Earth

Rare hexagonal diamonds may have been flung into space when a dwarf planet collided with a large asteroid about 4.5 billion years ago.

New research has identified hexagonal diamonds, also called lonsdaleite, in a rare class of meteorites that could come from the mantle of a dwarf planet. Like graphite, carbon, and diamond, lonsdaleite is a particular structural form of carbon. Where the carbon atoms in diamond are arranged in a cubic form, the carbon atoms in lonsdaleite are arranged in hexagons.

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