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An international research team including Curtin University scientists has documented the 'ghost' of an undiscovered mineral at two ancient meteorite impact craters.
The new study, published in the journal Geology, is the first to document evidence of a new form of the mineral monazite, which only exists on Earth during the immense pressures exerted by meteorite impacts.
Study - Associate - Professor - Nick - Timms
Study co-author Associate Professor Nick Timms, from Curtin's Space Science and Technology Centre, said the international research team made their discovery by looking at tiny rock fragments from impact craters in Germany and Canada using a high-powered electron microscope.
"We found microscopic evidence that monazite, a rare earth element phosphate, transformed to another crystal structure under high pressure from a shockwave, similar to how graphite can turn into diamond under pressure," Professor Timms said.
Mineral - Structure - Form - Mineral
"However, the mineral reverted to its original crystal structure instead of maintaining this new structural form, and while the new mineral only...
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