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Is a natural rain of diamonds occurring on Jupiter and Saturn? Two scientists say yes!

Is a natural rain of diamonds occurring on Jupiter and Saturn? Two scientists say yes!

In their scenario, lightning zaps molecules of methane in the upper atmospheres of Saturn and Jupiter, liberating carbon atoms. These atoms then stick onto each other, forming larger particles of carbon soot, which the Cassini spacecraft may have spotted in dark storm clouds on Saturn3. As the soot particles slowly float down through ever-denser layers of gaseous and liquid hydrogen towards the planets’ rocky cores, they experience ever greater pressures and temperatures. The soot is compressed into graphite, and then into solid diamonds before reaching a temperature of about 8,000 °C, when the diamond melts, forming liquid diamond raindrops, they say. Inside Saturn, the conditions are right for diamond ‘hail’ to form, beginning at a depth of about 6,000 kilometres into the atmosphere and extending for another 30,000 km below that, says Baines. He estimates that Saturn may harbour about 10 million tonnes of diamond produced this way, with most of it made up of rocks no bigger than a millimetre and perhaps some chunks spanning 10 centimeters.

But don’t invest your money yet in a diamond gathering expedition. This is only a theory, which many scientists dispute.

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