Diamonds, a Neptunian’s Best Friend

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Diamond rivers, diamond icebergs, diamond rain: some scientists believe that all of these can be found on the planet Neptune (and Uranus). Scientists have done experiments recreating the pressure and temperature that can be found on Neptune and discovered that when diamonds are liquefied and then re-solidified, they act much like water. The solid diamonds will float in the liquid diamond like an iceberg in water. Of course it wasn’t easy to melt the diamonds. It took pressure that is 40 million times greater than what is felt at sea-level on Earth. Coincidentally, that’s the level of pressure that diamonds would encounter on Neptune.

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As for the diamond rain, apparently, with enough heat and pressure, tiny diamonds can form in the methane in the atmosphere of Neptune. Based on research done at UC Berkeley, if pressurized liquid methane is heated to over 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit, diamond dust can form and rain down on the planet.

Isn’t that cool? So, when’s the next rocket to Neptune? I want to book my ticket.

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