They say money doesn’t grow on trees…But it may grow in space! And according to Discovery News, there may be solid diamond icebergs floating in liquid diamond oceans on Uranus and Neptune… Oh, if only Marilyn Monroe was around to see the day!
The research, based on the first detailed measurements of the melting point of diamond, found diamond behaves like water during freezing and melting, with solid forms floating atop liquid forms. This news gives scientists new understanding about diamonds and distant planets in our solar system.
When scientists melted diamond under high temperatures and pressure and then re-solidified, the solid diamond chunks floated on top of liquid diamond. Because diamond is so hard, it makes it incredibly difficult to melt. Additionally, diamond doesn’t like to stay diamond when it gets hot and when heated to extreme temperatures, it changes from diamond to graphite! Oh no!
The graphite, and not the diamond, then melts into a liquid. The trick for the scientists was to heat the diamond up while simultaneously stopping it from transforming into graphite and voilà, liquid diamond!
It’s still up in the air if NASA will start booking trips to the planet…But when they do, you can be sure there will be one heck of a wait list.