It may sound like a daydream or an overhyped story of a sci-fi Hollywood movie; but the seventh and eighth planet of our solar system – the ice giants like Uranus and Neptune are regularly experiencing the downpour of solid diamonds, and a recent lab simulation on earth has confirmed this fantasy-like fact. A team of scientists from the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) in their recently published study has confirmed that the so-called ice giants – the Sapphire planets Neptune and Uranus, whose environments are made of hydrogen, helium and also hydrocarbons like methane, are consistently producing the precipitation of solid diamonds which may cost in millions here on earth.
Scientists, by blasting a powerful-enough laser technique through a polymer succeeded in simulating the atmospheric conditions of the giants’ dense environments which revealed the rainfall of tiny diamonds in the planets. Through the simulations, scientists’ team found the simulated weather to explode into petite diamonds, which is symptomatic of the fact that Neptune and Uranus’ atmospheres are capable of creating diamonds in their regular climate patterns. According to Dr. Kevin Baines, of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory of NASA, “The biggest diamonds are most likely to have a diameter of one centimeter which is large big to put on a wedding ring.”
In a study, published in the journal Nature Astrophysics this week, the lead researcher of the project, Dominik Kraus, a physicist at the Germany-based Helmholtz Dresden-Rossendorf research center confirmed that the application of fancy plastic and high-powered lasers made them capable of producing diamond rainfall in the simulated atmospheric conditions of Neptune and Uranus on Earth.
Researchers made the use of a technique called “Matter in Extreme Condition” for the experiment through which they damped an emaciated polystyrene page with a laser flash for creating an extreme pressure of up to 150 gigapascals. Then the laser ignited the pressure of the material to around 6,000 Kelvin, and regardless of being in a sweltering climate, it falls short to thaw out the diamond. As the polystyrene is primarily made of a hydrocarbon polymer, it quickly divided into tiny molecules of hydrogen and carbon, and researchers compressed these materials for forming a stunning period during which they witnessed the downpour of diamonds in the simulated atmosphere of Uranus and Neptune.
Though the raining of diamonds is never before seen on earth, the latest finding is suggesting that it is quite common in other planets of the universe. As the researcher claimed, Neptune and Uranus are respectively 17 and 15 times more than the mass of Earth, and their oceanic bodies are compressed by pressures that are millions of times more intense than the air pressure of the sea level of earth. And this particular feature is more likely to hold the earth’s atmosphere back to create the rainfall of diamonds.