These diamonds from outer space hint at a long-lost planet

April 17, 2018 by  
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Diamonds in a meteorite  that crashed into Earth years ago have now given scientists a glimpse into the universe’s past. Recently, a team of scientists led by the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland used transmission electron microscopy to examine the diamonds contained in a slice of the Almahata Sitta meteorite. Based on their research, the scientists think the meteorite came from a planetary embryo, between the size of Mercury and Mars , that was destroyed in a collision around 4.5 billion years ago. Nearly a decade ago, an asteroid exploded over the Nubian Desert in Sudan. Scientists collected fragments from what’s now called the Almahata Sitta meteorite, and these fragments have yielded intriguing new information. EPFL materials scientist Farhang Nabiei told The Washington Post , “These samples are coming from an era that we don’t have any access to…This is part of the story of how we came to be.” The meteorite fragments are largely ureilites, which EPFL said are “a rare type of stony meteorite” in which nano-sized diamonds can be found. Related: New theory suggests the Moon may have formed “from a giant donut of vaporized rock” Embedded in the diamonds were chromite, phosphate, and iron-nickel sulfides; the scientists call these inclusions, and they hold signatures of the mysterious long-lost planet . According to EPFL, the “particular composition and morphology of these materials can only be explained if the pressure under which the diamonds were formed was higher than 20 GPa (giga-Pascals, the unit of pressure). This level of internal pressure can only be explained if the planetary parent body was a Mercury- to Mars-sized planetary embryo, depending on the layer in which the diamonds were formed.” What exactly happened to the long-lost planet? Nabiei couldn’t say for sure. Researchers think that, in the early solar system , large protoplanets pulled on others’ orbits until they coalesced, crashed, or broke up into pieces. The ureilites could have come from the same protoplanet that existed for a few million years before its demise in a collision. Nature Communications published the research online this week; scientists from institutions in France and Germany contributed. + Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne + Nature Communications Via The Washington Post Images via NASA/JPL-Caltech and copyright EPFL/Hillary Sanctuary

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These diamonds from outer space hint at a long-lost planet

Rare "super-deep" diamond and mineral found in South African mine

March 9, 2018 by  
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Scientists have uncovered a rare “super-deep” diamond in the Cullinan mine in South Africa’s Gauteng province. Wrapped in this diamond is the mineral calcium silicate perovskite, the fourth-most abundant mineral found on Earth — a significant discovery because, despite its abundance, this marks the first time in which calcium silicate perovskite has been found in nature. “This was very special because this mineral had been theoretically predicted, but it was not thought possible to see it preserved at the Earth’s surface for observation and measurement,” study co-author Graham Pearson told Inverse . “Finding a natural object that has never been seen by anyone before is always exhilarating! It’s what most natural scientists dream about.” Cullinan Mine is known for its rare blue diamonds as well as its scientific and commercial value. According to the authors of the study published in Nature , diamonds “provide access to the deepest intact material from the Earth’s interior through the minerals contained within their volumes.” The discovered diamond is called “super-deep” in reference to its origins 200 to 1,000 kilometers (about 125-621 miles) below the surface of the Earth , The first-ever natural discovery of calcium silicate perovskite (CaSiO3) wrapped in a rare diamond is providing scientists with a privileged glimpse into the deep inner workings of the Earth. Related: Scientists observe ‘diamond rain’ similar to that found on icy giant planets The super-deep diamond was determined to have formed approximately 760 kilometers below the surface of the Earth. Because the diamond formed in such a deep location, it was highly pressurized. This enabled the diamond to successfully hold CaSiO3, which exists only in very high pressure environments. “Only the super-strong nature of the diamond, and the particular nature of the fast eruption of the host kimberlite, in this case, provided a favorable set of circumstances that led to the preservation of this mineral ,” explained Pearson. “Many people predicted that we would never actually see a natural version of this mineral at the Earth’s surface because it is so unstable.” Via Inverse Images via Wikimedia and Petra Diamonds

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Rare "super-deep" diamond and mineral found in South African mine

Honeycomb shading keeps Bro Ole Scheerens skyscrapers naturally cool in Singapore

March 9, 2018 by  
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Büro Ole Scheeren recently completed DUO, a pair of sculptural glass towers in Singapore’s Kampong Glam neighborhood. The striking mixed-use development is partly wrapped in a honeycomb facade designed to promote solar shading and to accentuate the curved facades. The concave facades also help create a cooling microclimate by channeling winds towards the lushly landscaped parks below. In addition to its eye-catching appearance, DUO also marks a historic joint venture development between the governments of Malaysia and Singapore. Located between Singapore’s historic Kampong Glam district and commercial Bugis Junction, the twin towers will transform the area into a new civic hub with welcoming public spaces including 24-hour covered and open-air gardens , walkways, cafes, and restaurants. “DUO is about a sense of urban responsibility,” says Ole Scheeren , principal of Büro Ole Scheeren. “It shows how architecture can become a tool of reconciliation within an otherwise disparate and fragmented urban context. The project repairs a broken piece of the city and celebrates public life as the central quality of a socially responsible urban environment.” Related: Ole Scheeren unveils designs for a stunning “sky forest” in Vietnam The taller of the two towers at 186 meters is solely residential and houses 660 units. The second 170-meter-tall building includes corporate offices and a five-star Andaz hotel. Additional commercial areas are placed at the public ground floor that’s entirely passively cooled in an oasis-like environment. + Büro Ole Scheeren Via ArchDaily Images © Iwan Baan

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Honeycomb shading keeps Bro Ole Scheerens skyscrapers naturally cool in Singapore

Sustainable Stunners: Pros and Cons of Lab-Grown Diamonds

January 26, 2018 by  
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By Dan Decker Place a natural diamond engagement ring beside … The post Sustainable Stunners: Pros and Cons of Lab-Grown Diamonds appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Sustainable Stunners: Pros and Cons of Lab-Grown Diamonds

Scientists observe ‘diamond rain’ similar to that found on icy giant planets

August 24, 2017 by  
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You may have heard that icy planets like Neptune and Uranus experience diamond rain. But now, scientists have been able to mimic conditions of those planets and observe diamond rain at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in California. Since it’s difficult for us at this point to directly observe the interiors of these planets, such research could help scientists better understand and classify worlds. For a long time, scientists have hypothesized that diamond rain arises over 5,000 miles below the surface of planets like Neptune and Uranus. In this recent experiment, a group of researchers simulated the conditions of these planets “by creating shock waves in plastic with an intense optical laser ” in the laboratory , according to a recent press release. They were able to observe that almost every carbon atom of the plastic was incorporated into diamond structures. The diamonds were tiny – only around a few nanometers wide – but on Uranus and Neptune, the researchers think the falling diamonds could weigh millions of carats. Related: Mysterious object near Neptune just made space a lot weirder Study lead author Dominik Kraus of research center Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf said in a statement, “We can’t go inside the planets and look at them, so these laboratory experiments complement satellite and telescope observations.” The scientists think diamond rain could produce an energy source, generating heat as it falls. Beyond observing a neat phenomenon, the experiment could help scientists learn about how elements mix together under pressure in the interiors of planets, providing them with more information on a planet’s defining features. These researchers plan to apply their methods to study the processes of other planets as well. Nature Astronomy published the study online this week. 23 scientists of institutions in Germany, Japan, the United States, and the United Kingdom contributed to the research. Via SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory Images via Greg Stewart/SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

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Scientists observe ‘diamond rain’ similar to that found on icy giant planets

Lab-Grown Diamonds Could Make the Mining Industry Obsolete

April 30, 2014 by  
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Diamond mining takes a terrible toll on both human life and the environment , but lab-grown gems, which are now just as pure as natural ones and produce one-fifth the carbon dioxide emissions, could provide a viable alternative. Not only is the carbon footprint of the gems much smaller, but laboratories don’t require forced child labor to make their diamonds. So far, the artificial variety only account for 2 percent of the world’s jewelry market, but they have the potential to make mining obsolete. Read the rest of Lab-Grown Diamonds Could Make the Mining Industry Obsolete Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: a girl’s best friend , are lab-grown diamonds as pure as natural ones , artificial diamonds could offer a solution to forced child labour in Africa , artificial diamonds produce less carbon emissions that mined ones , diamonds without mines , lab grown diamonds , lab-grown diamonds are a sustainable alternative to natural ones , man made diamonds , sustainable mining practices vs lab-grown diamonds

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INFOGRAPHIC: Where do Blood Diamonds Come From?

March 5, 2014 by  
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You may have heard of “ blood diamonds ” before – but do you know where they come from and why the should be stopped? Blood diamonds are gemstones mined in war zones to finance insurgency, an invading army’s efforts, or a warlord’s activity. One fourth of the world’s rough diamonds are blood diamonds, and their sale is estimated to total $3.8 billion dollars every year; a quarter of that figure is enough to buy over 4 million AK-47s. To learn more, check out the new infographic from Master’s in Business after the break! The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat ? Send us a tip by following this link . Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing! Read the rest of INFOGRAPHIC: Where do Blood Diamonds Come From? Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: blood diamonds , conflict diamonds , conflict gemstones , diamond , environmental destruction , global development , infographic , kimberly process , war , war zone        

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INFOGRAPHIC: Where do Blood Diamonds Come From?

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