The next rush for riches won't be on Earth, but a cosmic quest to mine diamonds off-world for tremendous wealth. Instead of a space caravan of scientists, it might be prospectors on exoplanets mining these precious stones.
On Earth, a diamond is the hardest substance and can only be found in specific conditions. It takes millions of years and crushing force of the Earth's crust, water, and heat to turn a lump of coal into a diamond.
But, on alien exo-worlds, there will be more heat, pressure, and perhaps water with a carbon-rich environment. This will create more diamonds, even a whole a planet of diamonds too, reported Meaww.
This is the hypothesis of a new study that says exoplanets might be diamond-rich.
On them, conditions like plentiful carbon, that needs water, extreme heat, and more pressure than the earth itself is observed. The study suggests that it will be alien in comparison to what composes most planets in our solar system.
All these ideas were forwarded by the lead of the study, Harrison Allen-Sutter of ASU's School of Earth and Space Exploration who made the statement. Diamonds are not common on Earth he said, just only 0.001% which makes them so valued. Another is they are created 100 miles below the upper mantle, noted ASU.
According to Harrison Allen-Sutter, the cosmos in it are an estimated 100 billion planets all over, with another 100 billion galaxies in the universe too.
His study is about Earth and Space exploration, which he told Business Insider, supposing that for every billion, there is 1 diamond planet to be found. Since there is no way to know the exact number, then there might trillions of diamond planets too.
One speculation is that planets with diamond-like composition can be in a star's orbit, with high carbon to oxygen conditions. It will be a lower carbon ratio which makes diamonds scarce on earth. Reasoning that planets and stars are from dust and gas, which are similarly composed.
Scientists from Arizona State University and the University of Chicago devised the hypothesis or theory in which carbon abundant worlds need water in forming diamonds. Speculating that diamonds are formed from molten silicon carbide (silicone-carbon) is most plentiful in these alien planet cores.
Investigating the particular of their theory, conditions were replicated in the lab to simulate the conditions inside such exo-worlds. One purpose is getting empirical data in an experiment, in a smaller yet similar condition to the actual. Placing the silicon carbide in water, and began compressing diamonds to create high pressure, cited The Planetary Science Journal.
Lasers simulated the actual heat needed, per the experiments and keeping track using X-rays to it. The conclusion reach is that the carbide interacted with the water to form silica and diamonds. They simulated the heat and pressure prove their hypothesis, successfully but it would be different off-world.
Exo-world with such diamondlike planetary cores will be dead worlds, not even worth staying on longer. They are not actively geologically that will be a need to sustain a living biosphere. Even their atmospheres will be not suitable for any air or ways to support life. Another is the lack of water to survive in that world.
Allen-Sutter stressed exoplanets containing diamonds will not be conducive for life, but there naturally occurring diamonds will be of interest.