HomeSpace & AstronomyDiamond rains on ice giant planets are more common than thought

Diamond rains on ice giant planets are more common than thought

Ezoic Highlights Q3 2022: 1.2M Visi...
Ezoic Highlights Q3 2022: 1.2M Visits Under A Clear Sky!

On Earth, diamonds are expensive because of their rarity (and commercial hype), but on other planets, diamonds can be as common as rocks, such as the ice giants Uranus and Neptune.

The SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in the United States conducted a new experiment based on the internal environmental conditions and materials of the ice giant, and successfully observed the formation of diamond rain.

It is predicted that diamonds on Neptune and Uranus may be very large in size, weighing up to several million carats.

Scientists have long believed that there is a strange form of precipitation called “diamond rain” deep in the ice giant planet, and the extremely high pressure and temperature thousands of kilometers below the surface of the giant star will turn hydrogen and carbon into solid diamonds.

Because ice giants lack a solid surface, the material is denser in the direction that it falls toward the core, which means that over thousands of years, diamond rain may have sunk into the ground and accumulated around the core, forming a thick layer of diamond.

Now, scientists have found that hydrocarbons combined with oxygen, another element common to ice giants, are more likely to form diamonds, according to a new study from the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.

This suggests that diamond showers on Uranus and Neptune may be more common than thought.

To replicate the process, the research team used an off-the-shelf source – PET plastic mixed with carbon, hydrogen and oxygen – to generate shock waves inside the PET with a high-powered X-ray laser and observe structural changes.

It was found that atoms were arranged in diamond-shaped regions, and oxygen could accelerate the splitting of carbon and hydrogen, promoting the formation of tiny nanodiamonds with a density of 3.87 grams per cubic centimeter.

In addition, the research team also found that superionic water, which conducts electric current, forms next to the diamond, which could explain the abnormal magnetic fields found around Uranus and Neptune.

The experiment could also lead to new ways of making nanodiamonds, with applications ranging from drug delivery, medical sensors, non-invasive surgery, quantum electronics, and more.

Although diamond rain is still a hypothetical theory, because we know very little about Uranus and Neptune, the most distant planets in the solar system, NASA is about to launch a large-scale exploration program for ice giant planets in the next decade. At that time, it may be possible to expect spacecraft to verify the diamond rains exist.

The new paper is published in the journal Science Frontiers.
Mehmet S. Kaya
Mehmet S. Kaya
Mehmet is one of the administrator of Teknonel. As a software developer, he loves to share his knowledge in related topics. He is highly familiar with the editorial process from the inception of an article idea, through the iterative process, publishing, and performance analysis as well as product reviews.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here
Captcha verification failed!
CAPTCHA user score failed. Please contact us!

Follow us on Social Media!


Related Articles

US Army’s X-37B spacecraft returns to Earth after completing 2.5-year mission

Boeing said that the X-37B, an unmanned spacecraft belonging to the US Air Force, landed at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on November...

Scientists found a New way to study the matter inside neutron stars

Astronomers have always wondered what neutron stars are made of, as the most extreme celestial bodies in the universe other than black holes. In one...

Earth’s magnetic field could have been triggered by a large collision

The relationship between the moon impact theory and the history of the earth may be beyond our imagination. Earth's magnetic field may be innate,...

Record-breaking discovery of black hole closer to Earth

Scientists have discovered a small black hole lurking next to a star in the constellation Ophiuchus about 1,600 light-years away, the closest known black...

Explore More Articles

Antarctic sea ice may hide rich ecology in the deep dark

Antarctic sea ice may hide rich ecology in the deep dark

Antarctica is a world of ice and snow, not the place we expected to be full of life. But a new study has found...
Webb Telescope captures hourglass-shaped hot gas with Protostar in center-min

Webb Telescope captures hourglass-shaped hot gas with Protostar

The Webb Space Telescope has released a spectacular new image. In the center of this "space hourglass" is a protostar that is only 100,000...
Reverse engineering Definition, Uses and Importance-min

Reverse engineering: Definition, Uses and Importance

Reverse engineering is the analysis of a system that is aimed at researching its design principles.Although reverse engineering is most often used for the...
Coprocessor Definition, Uses and Importance in IT-min

Coprocessor: Definition, Uses and Importance in IT

 A coprocessor is an electronic circuit that is responsible performing specialized functions in conjunction with the main processor, providing basic operation.A coprocessor is an additional...