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Diamonds in Space

The new movie ?Blood Diamond? tells about the perils of mining diamonds here on earth. But soon this may not be a problem, since we will be able to mine diamonds in space?or else create them artificially.

Rare, black diamonds have long baffled scientists, since they are so different from the clear-colored gems that emerge from volcanic explosions on earth. In LiveScience.com, Jeanna Bryner quotes researcher Sonia Esperanca as explaining why diamonds are so valuable: "This process preserves the unique crystal structure that makes diamonds the hardest natural material known." But charcoal-colored diamonds don't come from volcanoes, so what is their origin? Astronomers now think they come from supernova explosions in space. A supernova is a star that explodes.

Stephen Haggerty and Jozsef Garai came to this conclusion after they analyzed the hydrogen in black diamonds. In LiveScience.com, Jeanna Bryner reports that Haggerty thinks black diamonds "might have rained down on Earth inside meteorites billions of years ago." He thinks that "their relative distribution on Earth could be explained by the timing of the formation of the continents."

Art credit: freeimages.co.uk

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