Scientists have found that it rains actual diamonds on Uranus, and on Neptune too, due to the incredible pressures on both planets.
Scientists have just confirmed something amazing that happens on Uranus, and Neptune as well it appears. They’ve determined that it rains solid diamonds due to the bizarre and extreme conditions on the two giants, as the gems form in the hydrocarbon-rich oceans and then fall through the atmosphere-like “oceans” to the solid core below.
Scientists have opined before that the extreme pressures of those plants may split the hydrocarbon into individual molecules of hydrogen and carbon, and then further compress the carbon into diamonds, but until now hadn’t been able to prove it. They believe that crystallized carbon then sinks like rain through the hydrocarbon ocean until they land on the solid core down below.
To prove it, they replicated the conditions using two types of lasers to produce shock waves and then drove them through polystrene plastic that is made of hydrogen and carbon, and were able to successfully create tiny diamonds. They believe the process on Uranus and Neptune creates much larger diamonds.
“In an experiment designed to mimic the conditions deep inside the icy giant planets of our solar system, scientists were able to observe “diamond rain” for the first time as it formed in high-pressure conditions,” reads the statement from the DOE/SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. “Extremely high pressure squeezes hydrogen and carbon found in the interior of these planets to form solid diamonds that sink slowly down further into the interior.
“The glittering precipitation has long been hypothesized to arise more than 5,000 miles below the surface of Uranus and Neptune, created from commonly found mixtures of just hydrogen and carbon. The interiors of these planets are similar–both contain solid cores surrounded by a dense slush of different ices. With the icy planets in our solar system, “ice” refers to hydrogen molecules connected to lighter elements, such as carbon, oxygen and/or nitrogen.”