Despite—or rather, because of—Mercury’s tumultuous early years, it could now be a diamond-encrusted world. Space rocks that smashed into the graphite that blankets much of the planet could have crushed it into diamond shards, according to new research.
“The pressure wave from asteroids or comets striking the surface at tens of kilometers per second could transform that graphite into diamonds,” says Kevin Cannon, a geologist at the Colorado School of Mines, who presented his latest findings at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in Houston last Thursday. “You could have a significant amount of diamonds near the surface.”
It turns out that Mercury isn’t just a hot hunk of rock closely
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