We’ve all heard the expression – it’s raining cats and dogs? It’s pretty common. And probably heard repeatedly during a heavy rainstorm. Fox 5’s Mike Woods probably uses it with reckless abandon!
And, of course, there’s the classic tune – It’s Raining Men. Did you know it was written by Paul Shaffer? Paul is probably best known for being David Lettermen’s band leader.
Well, did you ever think that one day it might actually be raining diamonds? Probably not on Earth, but somewhere else in the solar system. Some scientists seem to think this is happening. Just when you thought that you’ve heard it all!
What’s next? Pennies from heaven?
Recently featured by The Washington Post, scientists forecast rain storms of solid diamonds on Uranus and Neptune.
By now you might be thinking – how can this be? The answer is a little complicated, but that’s why there are highly educated people in this world that study these possibilities. I’m not exactly one of them.
Consider this your daily reminder that the solar system is even more amazing than you realized!
Here’s how it might rain diamonds:
The gems form in the hydrocarbon-rich oceans of slush that swath the gas giants’ solid cores. Scientists have long speculated that the extreme pressures in this region might split those molecules into atoms of hydrogen and carbon, the latter of which then crystallize to form diamonds. These diamonds were thought to sink like rain through the ocean until they hit the solid core.
But no one could prove that this would really work — until now. In a study published this week in the journal Nature Astrophysics, researchers say they were able to produce this “diamond rain” using fancy plastic and high-powered lasers.
“Previously, researchers could only assume that the diamonds had formed,” lead author Dominik Kraus, a physicist at the Helmholtz Dresden-Rossendorf research center in Germany, told the magazine Cosmos. “When I saw the results of this latest experiment, it was one of the best moments of my scientific career.”
Read the whole The Washington Post story – It rains solid diamonds on Uranus and Neptune.