Watch out for the upcoming extraterrestrial diamond rush! Scientitsts have calculated that about 10 million tons of diamonds may be stored in Saturn and Jupiter atmospheres. And they would be created by lightning storms!
Science fiction or not, results of this study presented at the American Astronomical Society are amazing. Based on observational evidences of storms on Saturn and Jupiter that actively generate carbon particles, new laboratory experiments and models mimicking the behavior of carbon under extreme conditions, two scientists have demonstrated that both planets may offer stable environments for the formation of diamonds.
Key events for the formation of diamonds on both planets are giant lightning storms spotted by Cassini spacecraft in the upper clouds of Saturn—similar storms have been seen on Jupiter.
Dark stormy regions seen on infrared images are thought to correspond to the breakup of methane molecules into carbon, most probably soot particles. Once formed, the new theory states, noncrystalline carbon sinks down through the atmosphere until it reaches an altitude of similar density and is converted to graphite under the increasing pressure. The graphite continues its descent into the deeper depths of Saturn’s atmosphere until pressure and temperature builds and converts the material into solid diamonds.
Rihanna knew it already!