They say space is the final frontier, right? I have a hunch Uranus will be the target for the next Gold Rush. Only this time, it’s massive diamonds. Very expensive massive diamonds.
The diamonds form near the core of the slushy ice planet, squeezed into existence from hydrogen and carbon 5,000 miles below the planet’s surface. From there, the diamonds sink further toward the core over thousands of years.
Scientists claim that the diamonds weigh in at millions of carats. For a bit of perspective, the Great Star of Africa in the Crown Jewels weighs 530.4 carats. Yeah. They’re big. Also, they’re probably the most valuable diamonds known to humankind right now. I would not be surprised if teams of people were figuring out how to mine them ASAP.
Scientists at the German research laboratory Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) made the discovery by simulating the process using a high powered laser and creating shockwaves in polystyrene. The simulation mimicked the pressures found in the planet and then, for a few seconds, almost every carbon atom took on a microscopic diamond structure. It was the first scientific proof of the idea, and lead scientist Dr. Dominik Kraus said:
Previously, researchers could only assume that the diamonds had formed.
When I saw the results of this latest experiment, it was one of the best moments of my scientific career.
Congrats are in order for you, Dr. Kraus! Now, scientists have to focus on how to get there and mine them. Then, like I said, we’ll have the second Gold Rush. Watch out for it.
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