Discovering that those diamonds may be from an ancient lost protoplanet that was destroyed in the early days of our solar system. The space rock, now dubbed 2008 TC3, didn't leave any damage but the fragments that fell on the ground after that explosion could be the key to understanding the history of our solar system, particularly planets that faded away with time.
Meteorite hunters recovered about 50 fragments, which researchers later named the "Almahata Sitta" collection after a nearby train station in Sudan. It was spotted by astronomers a few hours before its collision with the Earth in October 2008, which allowed scientists to observe its fall.
They concluded the precious stones could only have been formed above pressures of some 20 gigapascals, which could only have existed on a Mars- to Mercury-sized planet.
It is now thought they came from a mysterious planet that once circled the Sun billions of years ago.
This reinforces the theory that the current planets of the solar system were formed from the remains of dozens of large protoplanets, the researchers add.
Current thinking is that these tiny diamonds can form in three ways: enormous pressure shockwaves from high-energy collisions between the meteorite "parent body" and other space objects; deposition by chemical vapor; or, finally, the "normal" static pressure inside the parent body, like most diamonds on Earth.
The diamonds we're familiar with are formed when sheets of carbon called graphite - the same material in pencil lead - are squeezed to incredible pressures.
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The impurities trapped within the Almahata Sitta diamonds - crystals of chromite, phosphate and iron-nickel-sulfide - are the first to have been discovered in an extraterrestrial diamond.
Diamond inclusions appear blue in this colorized scanning transmission electron microscope image of Almahata Sitta meteorite No. 15.
The meteorites were formed after an asteroid slammed into Earth's atmosphere - making it technically a meteor - exploding 23 miles (37 kilometers) above the Nubian Desert in Sudan.
That lost planet was the size of Mercury or perhaps Mars, researchers now say.
"Many planetary formation models have predicted that these planetary embryos existed in the first million years of our solar system, and the study offers compelling evidence for their existence", a press release from the Earth and Planetary Science Laboratory said. The meteorites have, in fact, been classed as ureilites - a rare type of stony meteorite that has a unique mineralogical composition, very different from that of other stony meteorites.
Such planetary embryos got ejected from the solar system and either became rogue planets or smashed together.