The Hypatia stone found in the sahara desert.

A mysterious stone unearthed in 1992 in the Sahara desert contains minerals unknown on Earth – or in meteorites – and could be interstellar in origin.

The Hypatia stone is believed to come from the nucleus of a comet.

But new analysis by the team of researchers who initially analysed the Hypatia stone threw up unexpected results.

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.

The stone also contains pure aluminium.



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