New atmospheric data for Saturn and Jupiter leads scientist to believe that it rains diamonds on the two gas giants.
According to the findings, lightning turns methane into soot, which then hardens as it falls toward the planet. After the soot has fallen for about 1,000 miles it turns to graphite. After reaching around 6,000km, the graphite hardens into diamond. These diamonds would be around a centimeter in diameter, but would be uncut. The study estimates that there are about 1,000 tons of diamonds being created each year on Saturn. The diamonds continue to fall for another 30,000km. At this point the pressure and temperatures are too much for the diamonds and they are destroyed. These findings have yet to be reviewed by peers, but other planetary experts claims that they can’t “be dismissed”, reports BBC News.
The belief that diamond rain forms on both planets is based off of the methane levels, as well as the high temperatures need to form diamonds on both planets, which form at 3,632 degrees Fahrenheit.