Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Space Science

Diamond Rain In Saturn 177

Posted by Soulskill
from the diamonds-are-a-leviathan's-best-friend dept.
Taco Cowboy writes "Back in 1999, it was postulated that diamonds may rain from the sky in the atmospheres of our solar system's gas giants. Now, research has shown that diamond rains on Saturn are more than probable. '"We don't want to give people the impression that we have a Titanic-sized diamondberg floating around," said researcher Mona Delitsky, of California Specialty Engineering, "We're thinking they're more like something you can hold in your hand." Recent data compiled by planetary scientists ... has been combined with newly published pressure temperature diagrams of Jupiter and Saturn. These diagrams, known as adiabats, allow researchers to decipher at what interior level that diamond would become stable. They also allow for calculations at lower levels – regions where both temperature and pressure are so concentrated that diamond becomes a liquid. Imagine diamond rain or rivulets of pure gemstone.' 'At even greater depths, the scientists say the diamond will eventually melt to form liquid diamond, which may then form a stable ocean layer.'
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Diamond Rain In Saturn

Comments Filter:
  • by conscarcdr (1429747) on Friday October 11, 2013 @10:06AM (#45101587)
    Sorry, someone has to say it http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yDl0qPfkSRw [youtube.com]
  • by Picass0 (147474) on Friday October 11, 2013 @10:09AM (#45101613) Homepage Journal

    James, how the hell do we get those diamonds down again?

  • Liquid diamond!? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 11, 2013 @10:10AM (#45101625)

    What is that supposed to be when diamond is defined as a crystalline form of carbon and a crystalline material is by definition a solid?

  • by istartedi (132515) on Friday October 11, 2013 @10:10AM (#45101627) Journal

    Is there a cartel on Saturn? Because, you know, that's the only thing that really makes them special. This is something the goldbugs have right. Diamonds? You can make them out of carbon, via chemistry. Gold? You need nuclear processes that are currently uneconomical. Barring some spectacular breakthrough in nuclear technology, the supply of gold remains limited.

    • by h4rr4r (612664) on Friday October 11, 2013 @10:14AM (#45101659)

      It also remains far over valued versus its industrial use. This means we are limiting its use so that goldbugs can hoard it. Not much better than a cartel.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by gbjbaanb (229885)

        It [gold] also remains far over valued versus its industrial use

        so does paper with funny symbols, old dude's faces and a signature printed on it.

        • by h4rr4r (612664)

          But the same paper without does not, so we can freely use that for industrial use.

          See the difference?

        • by TheCarp (96830)

          Given that their "industrial use" is to be traded for goods and services, they seem to be valued quite exactly according to their industrial use.

      • Four C's:
        Color, Clarity, Cut, and Carat. It's the right combination of all four that makes a diamond valuable. This is regardless of the cartel. Quality is quality.

        http://gia4cs.gia.edu/en-us/the-diamond-4-cs.htm [gia.edu]

        • by h4rr4r (612664)

          Even with all 4Cs without the cartel prices would drop like mad. They are limiting the supply in an artificial manner.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          Colour other than 'no colour' used to be thought of as inferior/impure, and those diamonds were ground up and used as industrial sandpaper. So quality is very, very subjective.
        • by ShanghaiBill (739463) on Friday October 11, 2013 @11:09AM (#45102181)

          Color, Clarity, Cut, and Carat. It's the right combination of all four that makes a diamond valuable. This is regardless of the cartel. Quality is quality.

          Not true. A "cultured" diamond will sell for considerably less than a mined diamond of the same quality. The DeBeers diamond cartel has gone to considerable effort and expense to promote the perception that laboratory grown diamonds are somehow inferior to "real" diamonds produced by African children digging up hundreds of tons of dirt.

          • by langelgjm (860756) on Friday October 11, 2013 @02:01PM (#45103915) Journal

            A "cultured" diamond will sell for considerably less than a mined diamond of the same quality.

            I was quite interested in purchasing a synthetic diamond a few years ago, and kept an eye on what the major US players (D.NEA, Gemesis, and Apollo Diamond) were doing.

            While the prices of fancy colors (blue, yellow) were much less than colored natural diamonds, I found that (at that time, at least), the prices of colorless synthetic diamonds were about the same or even higher than natural diamonds.

            Synthetic colorless diamonds were apparently harder to produce, since color is caused by impurities. The sizes were also relatively limited, e.g., it was hard to find anything higher than 0.5 ct.

            Things may have changed since then, though.

        • by mythosaz (572040)

          Five C's determine their value, mostly weighted by Cartel.

    • Industrial diamonds cannot be made in large, flawless sizes. But there aren't any industrial uses for large sizes, either. So the availability of industrial diamond has little impact on the gemstone industry.

  • At least this should help fund space programs and work on asteroid capture. A bit sad that it will be used to adjust Saturn's orbit into the Sun but hey...progress right?

    • by Picass0 (147474)

      Greed and ambition have always been engines for progress.

      • by TheCarp (96830)

        and entertainment, I know I wont live to see it, but I have faith the Darwin Awards will long survive me, and be there to bring future people's the stories of idiots managing to remove themselves from the gene pool in hare brained schemes to get at those Saturn diamonds.

      • You say they are the engines for progress, but quite often, they are the roadblocks as well.

  • wrong (Score:5, Insightful)

    by slashmydots (2189826) on Friday October 11, 2013 @10:19AM (#45101717)
    "temperature and pressure are so concentrated that diamond becomes a liquid"
    Correction:
    "temperature and pressure are so concentrated that carbon becomes a liquid"
    It's not considered a diamond if it's a liquid. Diamonds are crystalline.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      So ice does not become a liquid?

      • If it's not a solid we call it water or steam. But remember that Steam is only available for Windows, OS X and Linux.

    • by Baloroth (2370816)

      It's not considered a diamond if it's a liquid. Diamonds are crystalline.

      Aye, which is why they use the word "becomes." I.e. it changes from one thing (diamond) into another (liquid carbon). When something becomes something else, it often does not stay the first thing (sometimes it does, sometimes it does). Both sentences are valid: the first is just more specific (and therefore superior), as it tells you what form the carbon was in prior to becoming a liquid, while the second does not.

  • Liquid carbon (Score:5, Informative)

    by Saethan (2725367) on Friday October 11, 2013 @10:20AM (#45101737)
    Aren't they essentially saying there might be oceans of carbon, but using diamond to make better headlines?
    • by Saethan (2725367)
      I should add that yes, at certain pressures there is probably solid diamond (there are theories of exoplanets that are almost entirely diamond, in fact), but the 'rain' would be liquid carbon.
      • by jbengt (874751)

        . . . the 'rain' would be liquid carbon.

        Yes, the diamond precipitation would be more properly called a hailstorm.

    • Yes. I also wonder about the "in Saturn" vs. "on Saturn" phrasing. With a gas giant, where do you draw the line between "in" and "on"??

      • With a gas giant, where do you draw the line between "in" and "on"??

        I don't think people even agree at this point about the interior of a gas giant. Best I can make out, it's likely a plasma that's squeezed so tight it behaves like a solid, but with its electrons floating all over the place, so not at all like any solid we've encountered.

      • The point where your diamond rain turns into a liquid carbon ocean.
      • Re:Liquid carbon (Score:4, Informative)

        by kimvette (919543) on Friday October 11, 2013 @11:45AM (#45102625) Homepage Journal

        It depends - many scientists are fairly certain Neptune and Urectum (oh wait, it's still Uranus until 2620) have solid cores, so you can almost certainly land "on" those planets (ignoring pressure issues). Saturn and Jupiter are also thought to have rocky cores, or to have had them originally, but it is uncertain. It's entirely possible due to gravitational pressures and electrical current the cores are not really a solid nor a liquid but an ultra-dense plasma. The idea that the gas giants in our solar system possess (or possessed) solid cores is a fairly new theory based on data (gravitational, magnetic, and radar) gathered by various probes as well as mathematical predictions.

      • Re:Liquid carbon (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Charliemopps (1157495) on Friday October 11, 2013 @12:57PM (#45103385)

        It's core is a mixture of rock and metallic hydrogen. So it's "surface" is basically a hydrogen ocean over top of a carbon sphere that's likely been compressed into a huge diamond. Keep in mind that it's been getting hit with asteroids for a very long time. It's clearly got some rock down there somewhere.

    • by necro81 (917438)
      I agree that it was probably written in a that way to make for a better headline.

      on the other hand, many (most?) people don't actually know that diamond is just a particular crystalline form of pure carbon, like graphite, etc. This is sad, yes, but so it goes. So in order to convey the liquid nature at certain depths, they may have said "liquid diamond" just to keep in line with what they were talking about earlier with diamond chunks floating around.

      Or, they could just be talking out of their ass.
    • by s.petry (762400)
      As much as people hate to admit it science can be just as bad as anyone else with sensationalizing what they think will sell, even if that means factual inaccuracies.
  • Will be funded by Zales.

  • oblig (Score:5, Funny)

    by dforreal (1078047) on Friday October 11, 2013 @10:22AM (#45101763)
    Then god created Saturn, and he liked it, so he put a ring on it.
  • by sl4shd0rk (755837) on Friday October 11, 2013 @10:24AM (#45101777)

    Nothing prompts exploration like greed.

    • by Khashishi (775369)

      Bad news for the explorers. De Beers has hired gunmen to shoot anyone who goes near Jupiter.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Typical. Another example of how Slashdot's been going downhill for years: Now they're just giving weather reports. Who the hell goes to Saturn, anyway?

    I mean, I've got friends upstate who vacation in Iowa for who knows what reason, so that's sort of the same thing, but they don't bother checking the weather before they go anymore.

  • by gstoddart (321705) on Friday October 11, 2013 @10:26AM (#45101805) Homepage

    This is awesome. The more we learn about the universe, the more we discover there's some really cool (and weird) shit out there.

    Raining diamonds. I can only imagine what other wacky stuff is out there we'll never know about.

    Like some moon with seas made of the finest quality single-malt scotch. :-P

    • Re:Cool ... (Score:5, Informative)

      by iggymanz (596061) on Friday October 11, 2013 @10:55AM (#45102043)

      no scotch found yet, but would you settle for vodka?

      http://io9.com/5911365/how-alcohol-is-formed-naturally-in-space [io9.com]

    • by Quirkz (1206400)

      This is awesome. The more we learn about the universe, the more we discover there's some really cool (and weird) shit out there.

      Raining diamonds. I can only imagine what other wacky stuff is out there we'll never know about.

      True, and yet speculation about such things isn't entirely new. In Clarke's "2061" he writes about a diamond core on one of Jupiter's moons. And in a Heinlein story about going to the moon an astronaut is given a bag of diamonds so that he can fake their presence in order to spur interest in future moon trips, only to return and tell the person behind the hoax it's not a fake, diamonds really are littered all over the moon.

      I'm sort of disappointed nobody else has mentioned this yet. C'mon slashdot, I though

  • I'm more concerned about the impact of xtonic rays on earth.
  • Oceans of liquid carbon? Despite the immense gravity and high temperatures, I can't help but wonder if epochs of time have resulted in forms of life we would find bizarre.
  • If you change the crystal structure to make diamonds flow, they are not diamonds - it is soot. This is equivalent of saying I'm swimming in ICE (crystalline) when I am really swimming in WATER (liquid). dUMB!
  • Does this mean that in Star Control 2, Saturn should be reclassified as a diamond world? (No exotics, just carbon)
  • It's not like we're going to start sending ships to Saturn to get them and bring them back. What makes a diamond valuable is its rarity on Earth.
    Suddenly having access to a literal ocean of them might impact that value.

  • How do you get Liquid diamond? When diamonds SUBLIMATE??? They turn from solid directly into a gas, there is no liquid phase, so how do you propose they exist in a liquid state?

3500 Calories = 1 Food Pound

Working...