Diamonds, diamonds everywhere across the universe! Yes, it is raining diamonds out in space

    Research has revealed that it could be raining diamonds on planets throughout the universe. Check details here.
    By: HT TECH
    | Updated on: Sep 05 2022, 16:08 IST
    NASA: Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter makes astonishing discovery
    Moon
    1/6 The lunar pits found by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter have mild temperatures, drastically different from the extreme conditions on the surface of the Moon. The temperatures in these caves are nearly 17 degree Celsius almost at all times. (NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University)
    Moon
    2/6 NASA Moon recently tweeted, "Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter images of pits indicate that the Moon has caves. Could they become astronaut habitats? Scientists have discovered that parts of the pits are always about 63°F (17°C), differing from extreme temperatures at the Moon's surface". (NASA)
    Moon
    3/6 The surface temperatures on the Moon can go from an extremely high 127 degrees Celsius and as low as -173 degrees Celsius. "The pits, and caves to which they may lead, would make thermally stable sites for lunar exploration compared to areas at the Moon's surface, which heat up to 260 F (about 127 C) during the day and cool to minus 280 F (about minus 173 C) at night,” NASA Moon tweeted further. (NASA)
    Moon
    4/6 First discovered in 2009, these lunar pits could potentially be used as location for a first Moon Base. Not only are the temperatures moderate, but these pits could also provide protection against cosmic rays, solar radiation and micrometeorites, according to NASA. (AP)
    LRO
    5/6 LRO Project Scientist Noah Petro of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center said, “Lunar pits are a fascinating feature on the lunar surface. Knowing that they create a stable thermal environment helps us paint a picture of these unique lunar features and the prospect of one day exploring them.” (NASA)
    image caption
    6/6 The particular pit used to analyze the thermal properties by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter was in an area of the Moon known as the Mare Tranquillitatis. It is 100-meters deep and as wide as a football field. According to scientists, the overhang of the pit is responsible for creating shadows on the Moon and maintaining a temperature of nearly 17 degrees Celsius at all times. (NASA)
    Diamonds
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    Know details about the research that revealed that it could be raining diamonds across the universe. (Pixabay)

    What comes to your mind with the word 'diamonds'? A gem, diamond jewellery, one of the hardest objects around or something else? What if we tell you that diamonds could be raining on planets throughout the universe? Scientists have suggested that it could be raining diamonds on planets throughout the universe after using common plastic to recreate the strange precipitation believed to form deep inside Uranus and Neptune.

    According to a report by AFP, scientists had previously theorised that extremely high pressure and temperatures turn hydrogen and carbon into solid diamonds thousands of kilometres below the surface of the ice giants. Now new research, published in Science Advances, inserted oxygen into the mix, finding that "diamond rain" could be more common than thought.

    Ice giants like Neptune and Uranus are thought to be the most common form of planet outside our Solar System, which means diamond rain could be occurring across the universe. "Extreme conditions inside ice giants such as Uranus and Neptune can result in peculiar chemistry and structural transitions, e.g., the precipitation of diamonds or superionic water, as so far experimentally observed only for pure C─H and H2O systems, respectively," Science Advances said in a report.

    Informing about the experiment the report said that the researchers investigated a stoichiometric mixture of C and H2O by shock-compressing polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastics and performing in situ x-ray probing. Researchers observe diamond formation at pressures between 72 ± 7 and 125 ± 13 GPa at temperatures ranging from ~3500 to ~6000 K. Combining x-ray diffraction and small-angle x-ray scattering, they accessed the kinetics of this reaction.

    "The observed demixing of C and H2O suggests that diamond precipitation inside the ice giants is enhanced by oxygen, which can lead to isolated water and thus the formation of superionic structures relevant to the planets' magnetic fields. Moreover, our measurements indicate a way of producing nanodiamonds by simple laser-driven shock compression of cheap PET plastics," the report added.

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    First Published Date: 05 Sep, 16:08 IST
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