Diamonds in The Sky

Diamonds are a girl’s best friend, or so I am told! Diamonds can tell us a lot about the formation of the Earth and other celestial bodies. Diamonds have been found all over the solar system.

The planet Uranus contains such a high level of pressure that carbons are crushed. In some areas it is possible that it rains diamonds on Uranus. It is also possible that within the mantle there is an ocean of liquid diamonds. Needless to say humans will most likely never be able to be caught in the diamond rain. The pressure is just so high, never mind the freezing temperature.

The guardian of the solar system Neptune could have diamond showers aswell. Although a spacecraft has only visited Neptune once; Voyager 2 in 1989. Even then, it was a quick flyby and only 40% of the planet was surveyed before marching on to the edge of the solar system. 

Diamonds have been mined on Earth for hundreds of years. Most natural diamonds are formed in our mantle beneath the Earth’s crust. Around 100 miles below. Some diamonds can form closer but will contain more impurities which can affect their colour. Blue diamonds contain higher concentrations of boron and yellow ones contain nitrogen. 

Diamonds take a long time to form, roughly a billion years or more. Although with higher pressure diamonds can form more quickly. Diamonds and carbon have been used to date natural samples and even the whole earth but carbon dating is controversial and I will tread this topic further in future.

Have diamonds fallen to the Earth from space? They have! In 2008 a meteorite crashed into Earth’s atmosphere and exploded over Sudan. So extra terrestrial diamonds can tell us how old the meteorite is and it’s chemical composition depending on what colour the diamonds are. 

Stars have been observed with diamonds cores given their internal pressure and mass. After supernova the pressurised core is left from the old fusion reaction of carbon within the star. 

So not only can a diamond unlock someone’s heart, they can unlock secrets of the solar system and the universe. 

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