'Strangest stone ever found may be from outside solar system'

'Strangest stone ever found may be from outside solar system'

'Strangest stone ever found may be from outside solar system'

It's been billed as the strangest stone found and researchers believe it is from outside the solar system.

Scientists have now discovered that the alien stone contains exotic micro-mineral compounds not found anywhere on Earth or on any meteorites or comets - these compounds are in fact found nowhere else in the entire Solar System.

The Hypatia stone continues to pose a puzzle and more research into its origins is required, which will hopefully uncover even more details about not just the space rock, but also about the formation of our Solar System.

Micromineral analyses by the two UJ professors provided "unsettling answers that spiral away from conventional views" of the material Earth's solar system was formed from.

Most meteorites are made of silicon with a small amount of carbon, but the Hypatia stone has a huge amount of carbon compounds - some, known as polyaromatic hydrocarbons, are a major component in interstellar dust. "Interstellar dust is also found in comets and meteorites that have not been heated up for a prolonged period in their history", he explained. It shows the enormous differences for all elements and how radically different Hypatia's chemical blend is from known objects in our solar system.

'Some come from the Oort Cloud, even further out.

'There are also grains of a compound consisting of mainly nickel and phosphorus, with very little iron; a mineral composition never observed before on Earth or in meteorites.

"Taken together, the ancient unheated PAH carbon, the phosphides, the metallic aluminum and the moissanite suggest that Hypatia is an assembly of unchanged pre-solar material".

"What we do know is that Hypatia was formed in a cold environment, probably at temperatures below that of liquid nitrogen on Earth (-196 Celsius)", said the university's Professor Jan Kramers, a geochemist now specialising in dating techniques (especially for hominin fossils) and analysis of extraterrestrial objects.

"In our solar system it would have been way further out than the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, where most meteorites come from", he said. We know very little about the chemical compositions of space objects out there.