October 13, 2013 | David F. Coppedge

Space Diamonds May Be Closer to Home

While casting doubt on stars made of diamond, other news reports are saying the precious jewels may inhabit the gas giants of our solar system.

Diamond not foreverAstrobiology Magazine now reports that a planet around another star previously thought to be made of diamond may not be such a gem.  Named 55 Cancri e, the planet is probably, at best, a “diamond in the rough,” a rocky world without sufficient carbon to form a diamond crust as previously thought.

Saturn in the sky with diamonds:  Jupiter and Saturn, however, might be manufacturing diamonds in their interiors.  National Geographic presented a new theory that, if true, means that 10 million tons of diamonds may have formed in their atmospheres.  These are solid diamonds, too.  Apparently there is enough energy in the lightning discharges of both planets to form the dense carbon gems, that could grow from the size of soot particles to pea size, or even “diamond bergs” big enough to hold in your hand.  As they fall, they melt into a liquid diamond sea in the high-pressure interiors of the giant planets.

This is just water cooler talk of some interest, updating an earlier report (8/25/11).  It would cost far more to mine these diamonds than they are worth.  Amazing to think about, though.

 

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