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Science & Technology

New mineral discovered inside meteorite

August 1, 2018 | Comment icon 8 comments



The mineral formed in space at over 1000C. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
The new mineral is reportedly harder than diamond and has a never-before-seen molecular structure.
Discovered within a meteorite that fell to Earth over Russia in 2016, the mineral, which has been named "uakitite", has been the subject of extensive testing and research for over two years.

The fragments found within the meteorite were extremely small, prompting scientists to use electron diffraction - as oppose to conventional X-rays - to obtain information on its crystal structure.

"It forms isometric (cubic) crystals (in daubreelite) or rounded grains (in schreibersite)," they wrote. "The size of uakitite grains is usually less than 5 micrometers (5 millionths of a meter)."
According to Boris Shustov, head of the Institute of Astronomy of the Russian Academy of Science, the discovery of new minerals within meteorites is not actually that unusual.

"This is a fairly common phenomenon due to the fact that a number of minerals, number of substances that can be formed and are formed under cosmic conditions, are not found on Earth," he said.

As such, it is likely that there are countless other minerals still out there, just waiting to be discovered.

Source: Mining.com | Comments (8)



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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by paperdyer 3 years ago
Nice find.  If we can find where more of this mineral is, it might be helpful in protecting space ships and satellites from meteors if the material can be compounded in some fashion.  One thing, why can't the scientists name new discoveries with words you can pronounce by just looking at them?  Is this pronounced u-a-kite' or u'-a-kite or uke' ke tite?
Comment icon #2 Posted by Tatetopa 3 years ago
Maybe it is easier to say in Russian, could be derived from the region the meteorite was found. Just a guess.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Brok 3 years ago
Whoever named it deserves a good slap.
Comment icon #4 Posted by Skulduggery 3 years ago
I, for one, like the name. 
Comment icon #5 Posted by Bunzilla 3 years ago
Very cool find, makes me wonder just how many more there are to find out there. But... Yeah. The name. 'Ooh-a-kih-tight'? lol. No idea. Any Russians reading that can help clue us in?
Comment icon #6 Posted by Chaldon 3 years ago
Here's the Russian article about the discovery: https://www.oblgazeta.ru/society/39164/. In Russian it's called "???????" and pronounced "uh-ah-kee-teet", but in Russian the most of mineral names end with "-teet" (-???) while in English it's "-tight", because that ending is of Greek origin (like the most of mineral names themselves). Uakitite was named after the meteorite in which it was first found. The meteorite's name is Uakit (?????), after the village in Buryatia near which it was discovered: https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/?????_(???????) The word itself is from the Evenk language meaning ... [More]
Comment icon #7 Posted by cyclopes500 3 years ago
I thought it was a musical instrument.
Comment icon #8 Posted by cyclopes500 3 years ago
Now everybody's got a crazy notion of their own Some like to mix up with a crowd, some like to be alone It's no one else's business as far as I can see But every time that I go out the people stare at me With my little uakitite in my hand, of course the people do not understand Some say why don't you be a scout, why don't you read a book? But I get lots more pleasure when I'm playing with my uke Of course I take no notice you can tell For mother's sound advice will always stand. "My boy do what I say and you'll never go astray. If you keep your uakitite in your hand, yes son Keep your uakitite... [More]


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