Entire Planets Made of Diamond May Exist

In the future, rich countries won’t exploit poor countries to mine their diamonds.  They’ll just deport those countries to outer space, where people will be forced to mine entire planets.

In the study, lead author Wendy Panero took an amount of carbon, iron, and oxygen and subjected it to enormous pressures at high temperatures. If you’re hoping to recreate the experiment at home, set your oven to Wendy Panero (3,800ºF) and apply 65 gigapascals of pressure (9.5 million pounds / square inch). In Panero’s experiment, the researchers sought to mimic the conditions deep within the Earth. They observed rust forming from the combination of iron and oxygen, but pure carbon was also produced, which in turn became diamond.

Originally, Panero and her team were looking to catalog different reactions that could occur during the formation of other worlds. Their goal was to figure out how a watery ocean-planet might form, as this could give clues to finding life-sustaining planets. However, the formation of diamond in their experiment led the team to a startling conclusion: They believe that planets, perhaps up to 15 times the size of Earth, comprised of more than 50% diamond could exist in our galaxy.

via Geekosystem

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6 Responses to Entire Planets Made of Diamond May Exist

  1. If I'm not mistaken Clarke guessed that the center of Jupiter was pure carbon, causing diamond mountains on it's moons after the Monolith ignited it. That's just science fiction…it never comes true. One guy wrote about a submersible ship that ran on the power of an atom going thousands of leagues beneath the sea…

  2. Why, just cuz there's rocks bigger than the sun out there? Ones that would never fit a human being even if set into a ring?

  3. Hipcat, he was pretty serious about it as I recall, wrote articles about it on top of the whole story segment in Oddyssey. According to him wasn't the entire core of Jupiter one single diamond? A mass larger than Earth?

    • Yes; that was a driving force behind "2061: Odyssey Three"; in "2010: Odyssey Two", Clarke had Bowman's — spirit? soul? untethered self? — soar through the layers of Jupiter. When he reached the core, it was a diamond larger than the Earth. After Jupiter ignited, the diamond was splintered, and one of the slivers crashed into Io, toppling — and damaging — the monolith there. I'll leave it at that, but the discovery of diamond slivers throughout the solar system will lead to the construction of the space elevator system and ring we read about in "3001: Final Odyssey".

      I've read the series several times; always enjoy it. One thing Clarke said in his intros in each is that each novel is not necessarily a sequel to the last one, though it is in spirit. That is, obviously, there was no mission to Jupiter back in 2001, nor did the planet ignite last year. I watched CNN every day and no word of it. :-) (Actually, it might have been a hook to have the "ignition" happen on December 21, 2012, if I'm remembering my Mayan predictions right.)

      But each novel is its own reality, per se. By the 2061 novel, I think Clarke has the 2001 events happening around 2015 and the 2010 events in the 2030s.

      Rambling; sorry. Regardless, you are right; the diamond at the center of Jupiter, created by the gasses and pressure over countless eons, created a diamond larger than the earth.

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