According to a group of scientists, lead by University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Kevin Baines, both of our solar system’s largest gas giants are home to conditions favorable to the creation of solid diamonds. That’s right, “about a thousand tons of diamonds per year.” Continue reading for a news report and more information.
Here’s how it works:
Massive lightning storms which cut across the gas giants’ atmosphere, posit Baines and his co-authors, begin the process by shredding methane molecules into carbon. This carbon, in the form of soot, then begins to sink deeper into the gaseous layers of the planet, where it is exposed to higher pressures. First converted into graphite, these bits of soot are eventually exposed to pressures strong enough to compress them into solid diamonds.