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Oceans of liquid diamond, filled with solid diamond icebergs, could be floating on Neptune and Uranus, according to a recent article in the journal Nature Physics.
The research, based on the first detailed measurements of the melting point of diamond, found diamond behaves like water during freezing and melting, with solid forms floating atop liquid forms. The surprising revelation gives scientists a new understanding about diamonds and some of the most distant planets in our solar system.
An ocean of diamond could help explain the orientation of Uranus' and Neptune's magnetic field as well, said Eggert. Roughly speaking, the Earth's magnetic poles match up with the geographic poles. The magnetic and geographic poles on Uranus and Neptune do not match up; in fact, they can be up to 60 degrees off of the north-south axis. If Earth's magnetic field were that far off it would place the magnetic north pole in Texas instead of off a Canadian island. A swirling ocean of liquid diamond could be responsible for the discrepancy.
Originally posted by the_grand_pooh-bah
will nobody make a uranus joke???
think of the children!!!
The scientists liquefied the diamond at pressures 40 million times greater than what a person feels when standing at sea level on Earth. From there they slowly reduced the temperature and pressure. When the pressure dropped to about 11 million times the atmospheric pressure at sea level on Earth and the temperature dropped to about 50,000 degrees, solid chunks of diamond began to appear. The pressure kept dropping, but the temperature of the diamond remained the same, with more and more chunks of diamond forming.
Quote from source:These ultrahigh temperatures and ultrahigh pressures are found in huge gas giant planets like Neptune and Uranus. Neptune and Uranus are estimated to be made up of 10% carbon. A large ocean of liquid diamond could deflect or tilt the magnetic field out of alignment with the rotation of the planet.
The only way scientists can know for sure if liquid diamond exists on these gas giant planets is either by sending a scientific spacecraft to one of them or by simulating the conditions on earth. Both methods would be very expensive and take years to prepare.
Originally posted by SlasherOfVeils
diamonds are not rare as a stone.
Gemstone quality, however, are quite rare. Clarity, lack of imperfections, color, not to mention its size (ala the 4 C's) are what make them expensive.
cool article, though it does raise one question from me..
In the article they said they raised temperatures to what, 50,000 degrees and at 11 million times the pressure of gravity at sea level on earth. I can understand the gravity pressure, but how do they get temperatures of 50,000 degrees on the most distant (official) planet of the solar system???
These ultrahigh temperatures and ultrahigh pressures are found in huge gas giant planets like Neptune and Uranus. Neptune and Uranus are estimated to be made up of 10% carbon. A large ocean of liquid diamond could deflect or tilt the magnetic field out of alignment with the rotation of the planet.