It’s Raining Diamonds on Jupiter and Saturn

It has been alluded to many times in song.

It was almost 50 years ago today that Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play and The Beatles famously sang about Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. More recently, Rihanna sings about diamonds in the sky. Now it seems as though singers may know something that science has only very recently discovered.


There are certain things that are reasonably well known and documented when it comes to diamonds. Diamonds are usually associated with glamour, engagements, the rich and famous, and all things extravagant. Diamonds come from kimberlite or lamproite pipes that are very difficult to discover and bring into production. Diamonds are formed when carbon, under enormous pressure and extremely high temperature deep in the Earth’s mantle, is brought close to the surface via volcanic eruptions that occur under the surface. However, finding diamonds in the sky or rather in outer space may soon be a fact of life.


Drops of Jupiter


A recent discovery by California Specialty Engineering in Pasadena, California, following research conducted by two planetary scientists, reveals that diamonds may actually be floating in the helium and hydrogen in the deepest atmospheres of Jupiter and Saturn. And not just any diamonds – diamonds so large that researchers referred to them as ‘diamondbergs.’  And whereas they may be floating in the upper atmosphere, it is believed that it could be raining diamonds in the lower depths due to the extreme pressures and temperatures actually melting the gems.

Scientists think that the diamond formation process on Saturn and Jupiter occurs when elemental carbon created by enormous lightning storms on the planet enters the deep atmosphere of the planet where the pressure turns it into a diamond. As the diamonds near the core they turn into liquid. Similar to how the diamonds we know are formed way beyond the depths of the earth and can contain a combined element, which in turn may produce natural fancy color diamonds, it isn't all that farfetched to imagine how that can happen in outer space. 

It has long been believed that diamonds may exist on Neptune and Uranus, planets that are relatively cold, but the revelation of the much hotter planets of Jupiter and Saturn as possibly bearing diamonds is a true discovery.


Where to from Here?


It may take the likes of legendary billionaire entrepreneur and adventurer Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Records and also the founder of Virgin Galactic which is looking to take space travel to the public at large. The next step for him could involve sending robots to mine diamonds in space.


Diamonds have always had a galactic pull on people, drawing them into their orbit and keeping them transfixed. One thing is for sure, it is only a matter of time before man will find a way of accessing these ‘diamondbergs;’ it may take decades, there may be sovereign battles over rights to mine, but you can never bet against people and their insatiable appetite for diamonds.

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