Scientists have discovered tiny carbon crystals with unusual shapes, such as hexagonal rods and spherical shells. A space rock fell to the planet on February 15, 2013 in the Southern Urals. This is the largest meteorite that occurred in the twenty-first century. It exploded on the ground so far in the century.
The meteor exploded at an altitude of 23 km above the city of Chelyabinsk. More than 1,000 people were injured and 3,000 buildings were injured in the blast. Space experts described the event as a wake-up call to the dangers that asteroids and other space rocks pose to the planet.
The disintegration of the giant planet in its atmosphere upon entering the planet was accompanied by the formation of a cloud of dust and gas at an altitude of 80-27 km, which subsequently settled on Earth, as discovered by numerous satellites. Scientists have now found micrometre-sized carbon crystals in Chelyabinsk dust, says a new research paper recently published in the journal EPJ Plus. study.
Microscopic crystal cut shape
Crystals take a variety of unusual shapes, such as closed, semi-spherical shells and hexagonal rods. Scientists said in does not depend on According to the first carbon crystal was found when examining the powder with an optical microscope because its sides were in the focal plane. The researchers found many similar microscopic pieces in the meteor dust.
Further investigations using other chemical analysis methods and X-rays revealed that the carbon crystals consist of layers of peculiar shapes of graphite surrounding a central nanocluster in the centre. It is possible that the microstructures were formed by the repeated addition of graphene layers to closed carbon cores caused by the extreme temperature and pressure conditions of the meteorite separation.
Studies are continuing with other meteorite dust samples to understand whether these strange crystals commonly form during meteorite crushing or are unique to the Chelyabinsk superbolide.
(Cover image: Fragment of a meteorite that fell in Russia on February 15, 2013. Photo: Chip somophila/Getty Images)
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