HikingStick tips a piece from the science desk at MSNBC.com about a new, naturally occurring form of carbon found in a meteorite fragment. "Researchers were polishing a slice of the carbon-rich Havero meteorite that fell to Earth in Finland in 1971. When they then studied the polished surface they discovered carbon-loaded spots that were raised well above the rest of the surface — suggesting that these areas were harder than the diamonds used in the polishing paste... [G]raphite layers were shocked and heated enough to create bonds between the layers — which is exactly how humans manufacture diamonds... [The research] team took the next step and put the diamond-resistant crystals under the scrutiny of some very rigorous mineralogical analyzing instruments to learn how its atoms are lined up. That allowed them to confirm that they had, indeed, found a new 'phase' or polymorph of crystalline carbon as well as a type of diamond that had been predicted to exist decades ago, but had never been found in nature until now."
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