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Diamonds May Rain On Ice Planets: New Study

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A new study published in the magazine Nature Astronomy predicts that diamond rain is more prone on icy planets like Uranus and Neptune.

Diamond rains occur under extensive pressure on these planets that compresses the carbon and hydrogen inside resulting in diamonds forming and sinking deeper into the surface.

At the Stanford National Accelerator Laboratory in Menlo Park, California, a device called the Matter in Extreme Condition (MEC) uses a laser to cause shock waves in plastic, which is a replica of the environment on these icy planets.

Using PET plastic, researchers built a structure of these planets. This plastic is used in food containers, plastic water bottles, and boxes. A physicist and professor at the University of Rostock, Dominik Kraus, stated in a press release, “PET has an excellent balance among carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen to imitate the activities on ice planets.”

Researchers measured the rate and size of these areas’ growth using a method called “small-angle scattering”. Scientists identified that these diamonds have grown a few nanometers in size. With tests conducted earlier, in the presence of oxygen, these diamonds expanded in low temperatures and pressure.

This discovery has opened doors to manufacturing diamonds using the laser-driven technique in the future.

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