The joys of simulating Uranus

This sounds almost too weird to be true, and yet …

Scientists have long theorized that the icy giant planet Uranus could have diamond rain showers due to the immense pressure in its atmosphere but none have actually come close to confirming the idea since mimicking the harsh conditions of the planet is necessary.

A team of researchers, however, has recreated the atmospheric conditions of Uranus at Stanford University’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and successfully observed a rain of tiny diamonds.

As hard as it must have been to create that artificial atmosphere, I figure the hail of diamonds was a satisfying payback, except for these minor details:

The researchers say that, considering its size, the diamond rains in Uranus are probably giants reaching up to a few million carats in size. However, there are also two things to consider with ice giant diamonds: the first is that it probably has impurities, and the second is that they’re not cut and polished.

Probably no jewelers this far from Earth, either.

(Via Darlene.)





5 comments

  1. McG »

    27 August 2017 · 8:59 am

    Extracting diamonds from Uranus would definitely be a major achievement.

  2. ETat »

    27 August 2017 · 9:12 am

    Extracting diamonds from Uranus will break the diamonds market here.
    On the other hand – in terms of lemons vs lemonade – there might be barter opportunities: say, trading water…or organic matter

  3. fillyjonk »

    27 August 2017 · 2:02 pm

    Wasn’t there a joke about coal, diamonds, and Cameron’s backside in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off?”

    I remember it because a friend used to quote it to me but subbed my name in…

  4. CGHill »

    27 August 2017 · 2:08 pm

    “Pardon my French, but Cameron is so tight that if you stuck a lump of coal up his ass, in two weeks you’d have a diamond.”

  5. nightfly »

    28 August 2017 · 10:07 am

    I can think of a third thing to consider… the real chance of being crushed to death by diamonds the size of a Chevy Tahoe.

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