Hail Yes!

Forget the Emerald City; on Saturn and Jupiter it is all about the diamonds. A team of US researchers is positing that lightning storms in the gas giants’ upper atmospheres turn methane into soot, which hardens into graphite and then diamond as it falls. Tons of diamondhailstones may rain down on the planets each year, and while most are likely about a centimeter in diameter, some could best be described as “diamondbergs.” Alas, these sparklers are not “forever.” As the diamonds reach certain depths, the pressure and temperature become so great that they likely melt into a liquid carbon sea. More… Discuss

 

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