It's Literally Raining Diamonds on Saturn and Jupiter
We're a little late to the party on this one, but it's just too fascinating to pass up. A team of planetary scientists recently claimed that the mix of methane, carbon and lightning in
"The bottom line is that 1,000 tons of diamonds a year are being created on Saturn," Dr. Kevin Baines of
The chemistry is actually pretty simple. Saturn's atmosphere is mostly made up of hydrogen and methane, but when storms crop up, the lightning fries the methane, producing pure hydrogen and burnt carbon, a.k.a. soot. As the clouds of soot fall towards the planet, they clump together forming graphite, and as the pressure builds up closer to the planet's core, that graphite is compressed into pure diamond. So it's literally raining diamonds on Saturn. The scientists think the same thing might be happening on
Does this do us any good? Not right now . It's pretty hard to get to Saturn and Jupiter and to get down to where the diamonds are would be pretty tough since the pressure there is about 100,000 times what it is at sea level on Earth. And if we don't catch them fast enough, the diamonds eventually fall into the core and melt. Nobody wants a melted diamond necklace.
Still, this opens up the future of extreme diamond mining much more then recent discoveries of entire planets made of diamond. Astronomers think that