New mineral discovered, as hard as diamond: Russian scientist

Source: Xinhua| 2018-08-02 15:12:22|Editor: xuxin
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MOSCOW, Aug. 2 (Xinhua) -- A new type of mineral which is "as hard as a diamond" was discovered in a meteorite in Siberia, said Russian scientists.

Found in Siberia in 2016, the meteorite has been under examination since.

Researchers from the Ural Federal University, Novosibirsk State University and the Geological Institute at the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Science found a new substance formed in outer space inside the meteorite.

They named it as "uakitite" in a report published recently.

"It forms isometric (cubic) crystals (in daubreelite) or rounded grains (in schreibersite). The size of uakitite grains is usually less than 5 micrometers," said the report.

"(Finding new minerals in meteorites) is a fairly common phenomenon due to the fact that a number of minerals, a number of substances that can be formed and are formed under cosmic conditions, are not found on Earth," said Boris Shustov, head of the Institute of Astronomy of the Russian Academy of Science.

Due to the small size of grains, the physical properties of uakitite are hard to evaluate, but scientists believe that it has a yellow and transparent phase with a metallic sheen and is as hard as a diamond.