The Glittering Rains of Neptune

Some planets in our solar system are hiding a gleaming bounty deep within: showers of diamonds formed via crushing pressures and blazing temperatures.

Uranus and Neptune, the ice giants, are massive balls of mostly hydrogen and helium, with some water and ammonia. The “ices” give them their nicknames, but temperatures soar to thousands of degrees deep inside. Mixed in with the gases is carbon, mostly joined to hydrogen atoms to form hydrocarbons. Go down deep enough, and the conditions force the hydrogen atoms out, pressing the carbon atoms together to form solid diamonds, which researchers believe gradually filter through the planet’s interior as a kind of glittering rain

The Glittering Rains of Neptune

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