Diamond shower on Neptune and Uranus

On both planets the weather conditions are extreme. They are two frozen giants. But in their interiors the temperatures reach several thousand degrees Celsius. The pressure is millions of times higher than in the Earth’s atmosphere. That is why the diamond shower forms on Neptune and Uranus.

The diamond rain on Neptune and Uranus has been explained in an experiment.
The shower of diamonds on Neptune and Uranus has been explained in an experiment.


A scientific team used something as simple as a simple plastic bottle to explain the phenomenon. They recreated something like that ‘rain’ of tiny diamonds. The result has multiple applications. From future medical treatments to promising quantum computers. The results have just been published in the journal ‘Science Advances’.

how do they replicate the event? Laser flashes hit a sample of film-like material. They heat it up to 6,000 degrees Celsius instantly. That compresses the material for a few nanoseconds at a million times atmospheric pressure.

Dominik Kraus, a physicist at the University of Rostock explains. “This extreme pressure produced tiny diamonds, known as nanodiamonds.” A material called PET was used to simulate certain conditions. This is the resin from which ordinary plastic bottles are made.

“It has a good balance of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. It can simulate activity on ice planets,” Kraus explains. “It accelerated carbon and hydrogen splitting. It promoted the formation of nanodiamonds.”

It succeeded in replicating the formation of nanodiamonds.
Successful replication of nanodiamond formation was achieved.

From the universe to a bottle

The shower of diamonds on Neptune and Uranus is not the only thing this proves. There is now custom production of nanometer-sized diamonds. “Until now, they were produced by detonating explosives,” Kraus explains. “With laser flashes, they could be manufactured much more cleanly in the future.”

These experiments hold promise in the field of highly sensitive quantum sensors. Also as medical contrast agents or more efficient transport of drugs in the body. In the universe, something that happens millions of kilometers away can be replicated… in a plastic bottle.

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