Diamond Rain

Welcome to All Sensors “Put the Pressure on Us” blog. This blog brings out pressure sensor aspects in a variety of applications inspired by headlines, consumer and industry requirements, market research, government activities, and you.

Diamond Rain

Besides being planets in our solar system, what do Saturn, Jupiter, Neptune and Uranus have in common? One answer is an abundance of diamonds. In fact, raining diamonds is frequently attributed to these planets.

On our planet, carbon atoms bond together to form diamond crystals under pressures of 725,000 psi (5,000,000 KPa or 5 GPa) and at temperatures of 2000 to 2200°F (1366 to 1478 K), conditions found deep within the earth’s mantle. With high concentration of methane in their atmospheres, the diamond planets just need the right combination of pressure and temperatures. On earth, scientists have dynamically compressed polystyrene (a hydrocarbon plastic) with pressures around 150 GPa (2.176e7 psi) and temperatures around 5,000 K (8540°F) – conditions that resemble the environment around 10,000 km below the surfaces of Neptune and Uranus. They concluded that diamond precipitation may require pressures about ten times as high as previously indicated by static compression experiments – and provided even more proof that diamonds are forever.

The Hope Diamond (Smithsonian Magazine)The Hope Diamond is earth’s most famous diamond.
Source: Smithsonian Magazine.

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