It sounds like a wacky fantasy, but scientists believe that it rains diamonds in the clouds of Saturn and Jupiter.Diamonds big enough to be worn by Hollywood film stars could be raining down on Saturn and Jupiter, US scientists have calculated.Rain is precious at the best of times, but this is something else entirely.New atmospheric data for the gas giants indicates that carbon is abundant in its dazzling crystal form.It sounds like science fiction, but as much as 10 million tons of diamonds may be stored in Saturn and Jupiter.
Earlier theories included only Uranus and Neptuneas suspected diamond producers. Scientists suggested that intense temperature and pressure on those planets may be able to convert atmospheric methane gas directly into diamonds, which rain down into their interiors.
Jupiter and Saturn, which are presumed to have much lower temperatures and less methane, have traditionally not been associated with the capacity to form these precious gems.
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. Volcanic magma highways then bring them closer to the surface, providing us with shiny gemstones that we stick in rings and ear studs.
The atmosphere of Jupiter is primarily hydrogen and helium, with trace amounts of methane, water vapor, ammonia, and silicon-based compounds. There are also traces of carbon, ethane, hydrogen sulfide, neon, oxygen, phosphine, and sulfur. Saturn and the other gas giants are similar in composition (Uranus and Neptune have less hydrogen and helium and more methane, ammonia, and water). If you go low enough in the atmosphere the pressure increases to the point where this carbon gets compressed into diamonds, which fall deeper into the atmosphere. Mind you now that the “atmosphere” is denser than lead at this point, so the diamond “rain” falls toward the center of the planet very very slowly, probably taking thousands of years to reach the interior. The “diamonds” are likely also very small, not much bigger than a grain of sand.
About half of one percent of Saturn’s atmosphere is methane. Jupiter has only about 0.2 percent. On Uranus and Neptune, however, close to 15 percent of the atmosphere is made up of the gas.
graphite keeps falling. When it reaches the deep atmosphere of Saturn, for example — around 3,700 miles down — the immense pressure squeezes the carbon into diamonds, which float in seas of liquid methane and hydrogen.Eventually the gems sink toward the interior of the planet (a depth of 18,600 miles), where nightmarish pressure and heat melts the diamonds into molten carbon.
You know that Saturn has a lot of methane, right? That mehtane in the atmosphere starts forming droplets and in the initial phase, it starts falling down as a liquid. Now, on planets like Jupiter and Saturn, there can be huge thunderstorms (and when I say huge, I mean it!! Temperatures could go as high as 30,000 Kelvin!!!! That’s 5 times as hot as the surface of the sun!!!). Lightning from those thunderstorms hits the methane raining from the clouds and turn them into soot. That soot, is hardened as it falls down because of the huge pressure and slowly, as it hits the surface that soot gets converted into graphite and eventually diamonds.