Mysterious naturally occuring quasicrystals in Russia are believed to be extraterrestrial in origin.
Quasicrystals are a unique type of crystal first proposed by Nobel Prize winner Dan Shechtman in 1982. The crystals were thought not to occur naturally until 2009 when a sample was identified in the Museum of Natural History in Florence, prompting an expedition to discover where the sample originated. What the team found was that the quasicrystal is likely to have come from outer space.
"How did the quasicrystal form so perfectly inside a complex meteorite when we normally have to work hard in the laboratory to get anything as perfect ?" said Paul Steinhardt. "What other new phases can we find in this meteorite and what can they tell us about the early solar system? At the moment, we are at the tip of the iceberg."
"Results from an expedition to far eastern Russia that set out to find the origin of naturally occurring quasicrystals have provided convincing evidence that they arrived on Earth from outer space."
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