At the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, scientists made surprising conclusions about Mercury’s surface. In their opinion, the crust of the smallest and closest planet to the Sun in the solar system may contain up to 16 quadrillion tons of diamond.
Experts believe that dandruff MercuryMade primarily of graphite, it can turn into diamond when an asteroid or comet hits it.
Kevin Cannon, a geologist at the Colorado School of Mines, explained at the conference that a pressure wave from asteroids or comets hitting the surface at speeds of tens of kilometers per second can turn this graphite into diamond.
Mercury can be a very valuable planet
However, Cannon noted that these are not diamonds in the form of large gemstones, which are used, for example, in making jewelry. It’s more like “small, murky diamonds used in industry as abrasives.”
The discovery requires confirmation while further research is carried out, but it is not known if and when this is possible. Mercury is a difficult planet to study because of its location Solar System (which is closest to the sun), as well as the harsh conditions prevailing there. The planet has no atmosphere, has many impact craters, and the surface temperature ranges from -173 to 427 degrees Celsius.
As Interesting Engineering notes, only two NASA MESSENGER and Mariner missions have so far made detailed observations of the planet, thanks to which it was possible to expand knowledge about Mercury. Another BepiColombo mission, carried out by the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Japan Space Agency (JAXA), is likely to take place in late 2025. According to Cannon, there is an opportunity to “detect diamonds in surface materials”.
It is worth noting that this will be the first mission consisting of two space probes. The instruments will make complementary measurements of Mercury and its dynamic environment.
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