It sounds like a wacky fantasy, but scientists believe that it rains diamonds in the clouds of Saturn and Jupiter.
Diamonds are made from highly compressed and heated carbon. Theoretically, if you took a charcoal bricket out of your grill and heated it and pressed it hard enough for long enough, you could make a diamond. (Good luck with that.)
On Earth, diamonds form about 100 miles underground according to Business Insider. Volcanic magma highways then bring them closer to the surface, providing us with shiny gemstones that we stick in rings and ear studs.
But in the dense atmospheres of planets like Jupiter and Saturn, whose massive size generates enormous amounts of gravity, crazy amounts of pressure and heat can squeeze carbon in mid-air — and make it rain diamonds.
Scientists have speculated for years that diamonds are abundant in the cores of the smaller, cooler gas giants, Neptune and Uranus. They believed that the larger gaseous planets, Jupiter and Saturn, didn’t have suitable atmospheres to forge diamonds.
But when researchers recently analyzed the pressures and temperatures for Jupiter’s and Saturn’s atmospheres, then modeled how carbon would behave, they determined that diamond rain is very likely.
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New atmospheric data for the gas giants indicates that carbon is abundant in its dazzling crystal form, they say.
Lightning storms turn methane into soot (carbon) which as it falls hardens into chunks of graphite and then diamond.
These diamond “hail stones” eventually melt into a liquid sea in the planets’ hot cores, they told a conference.
The biggest diamonds would likely be about a centimetre in diameter – “big enough to put on a ring, although of course they would be uncut,” says Dr Kevin Baines, of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
He added they would be of a size that the late film actress Elizabeth Taylor would have been “proud to wear”.
“The bottom line is that 1,000 tonnes of diamonds a year are being created on Saturn.
“People ask me – how can you really tell? Because there’s no way you can go and observe it.
“It all boils down to the chemistry. And we think we’re pretty certain.” Dr Kevin Baines, University of Wisconsin-Madison said.
This is not the first time scientists have speculated about diamond rain. Uranus and Neptune are long known to be diamond treasure troves.
Not only does their atmosphere comprise of 15% methane, but also, the temperature does not get to over 3,820 Kelvin (6,416°F), the melting point of diamonds.
This means that the precious stones that fall are most likely strewn all over the planets just waiting to be picked up!
Let us know what you thing in the comment section below.