Diamonds, the saying goes, are a girl’s best friend and Jupiter and Saturn just might be filled to the brim with them, scientists say.
Chunks of diamonds may be floating in hydrogen and helium fluid deep in the atmospheres of Saturn and Jupiter. What’s more, at even lower depths, the extreme pressure and temperature can melt the precious gem, literally making it rain liquid diamond, researchers said.
“The new data available has confirmed that at depth, diamonds may be floating around inside of Saturn, some growing so large that they could perhaps be called ‘diamondbergs,'” officials from California Specialty Engineering in Pasadena, Calif., wrote in a statement announcing the discovery on October 9, 2013. Planetary scientists Mona Delitsky of CSE and Kevin Baines of the University of Wisconsin-Madison conducted the research.
The biggest diamonds would likely be about a centimetre in diameter – “big enough to put on a ring, although of course they would be uncut,” says Dr Kevin Baines, of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
He added they would be of a size that the late film actress Elizabeth Taylor would have been “proud to wear”.
“The bottom line is that 1,000 tonnes of diamonds a year are being created on Saturn.
“People ask me – how can you really tell? Because there’s no way you can go and observe it.
“It all boils down to the chemistry. And we think we’re pretty certain.”
SOURCE: BBC & News Agencies