Siberian gold prospectors thought they won the Jackpot when noticed a 4 kilograms yellow-specked metal mass right beneath their feet. However, the piece of rock has proven much more valuable than gold as it was a meteorite that just hit the Earth in Siberia and housed a puzzling alien mineral inside it.
However, 98 percent of this space rock is ordinary, made up of a molten iron and nickel alloy known as kamacite. But, 2 percent of this meteorite represented some minerals that can only be detected in space rocks. Even more, among those 2 percent, there was something new, a never-before-seen material, an alien mineral, Uakitite, as the researchers dubbed it.
The Russian scientists said the newly discovered mineral is harder than diamond and its structure resembles that of the most durable minerals ever found on Earth.
The alien mineral inside the Siberian Uakitite meteorite formed at very high temperatures
“The hardness of uakitite was not measured directly,” said Victor Sharygin who also added that the alien mineral is hard, but not that hard.
Moreover, the unique mineral’s grains are only 5 micrometers big, which is 25 times smaller than a grain of sand, for instance.
“Unfortunately, we failed to obtain all physical and optical properties of uakitite because of the very small sizes of the grains,” said Victor Sharygin.
According to the Russian researcher, new technologies have to be developed in order to depict the alien mineral’s proprieties which remain unknown, for the moment.
However, the scientists managed to find out that the puzzling mineral formed at high temperatures, as the space rock surrounding it shows clear signs of exposure to temperatures above 1,000 degrees Celsius.
The alien mineral found inside the Siberian meteorite was nicknamed uakitite after the region where it was discovered, the Uakit region of Siberia, Russia.