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What minerals could be found on the newly discovered earth-like planet?

Articles - Press Releases

The newly discovered "Earth-like" planet, 120 trillion miles could contain more Gold than we could ever imagine. Geologists are currently speculating what type of minerals could be found on the new Earth-like planet.

It is estimated that the new planet, named Gliese 581g, is three times the mass of our planet; that, in its self, will have a considerable effect on the quantity of minerals which could be found there.

Alan Roddis, Managing Director of G.A.E.A. says, "The type of minerals which could be found on Gliese 581g is highly dependent on how they have been "baked" over time. Like cooking food in the kitchen, mineral formation is influenced by temperature, pressure and time. The atmospheric conditions of Gliese 581g; that is the level of Oxygen and Silicon, will also heavily influence the minerals found there".

There are approximately 3,000 known minerals in the Earth's crust and mantle. Three quarters of the crust, by weight, is made up of just two elements; 47% Oxygen and 27% Silicon. Given these large ratios, the number of minerals that can physically form on Earth is finite.

"If the new Earth-like planet has the same levels of Silicon but more Oxygen than our planet, it is not unreasonable to suggest that minerals that are heavily influenced by Oxygen could be in abundance. This would include non-silicate minerals, such as Calcite, Anhydrite, Apatite and Spinel. Equally, minerals such as Quartz, which are pure crystalline silica would be in abundance in Silicon rich environments.

If Oxygen levels on Gliese 581g are less than our planet, minerals which do not involve Oxygen at all, could be plentiful. Such minerals include salt, pyrite, carbon and gold!

Interestingly, a small change in the oxygen levels on Gliese 581g could mean that Gold is as common there as Quartz is on Earth.

Roddis continues, "Undoubtedly, Gliese’s different environmental conditions will affect the minerals that are formed in the new planet over millions and millions of years. The beautiful peacock colours of faceted Labradorite gemstones or the defined colour striations of Orange River Quartz gemstones may not be obtainable on the new Earth-like planet. Furthermore, while curved rutilations in Witches Finger and Quartz gemstones are very unusual on Earth, the different cooking conditions may mean that they are common place on other planets".

One thing is for sure; the minerals found on Earth shape every part of our life. Minerals on Gliese 581g are likely to be similar to what we know and understand if the baking conditions and atmospheric conditions are similar. Equally, a small change could mean that the new Earth-like planet is literally a Gold mine.

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