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22 Jan, 2010 07:48

Are Neptune’s oceans filled with diamonds?

Planets with oceans of liquid diamonds may sound like something taken straight from a science-fiction novel, but scientists believe that it may be possible on planets like Neptune and Uranus.

The report in Nature Physics magazine suggests that, when liquefied, a diamond acts like water.

“As most of us know, diamonds are just about the toughest material there is on the planet, and in order to liquefy it you have to put it at pressures over 40 million times of that on the earth and you also have to heat it to unimaginable temperatures. And researchers working in a lab figured out in a genius way to take diamonds, solid diamonds, and they liquefied it – and to their surprise it acted just like water. A solid diamond floated just like an iceberg on liquid diamonds,” author and commercial space entrepreneur Jeff Manber told RT.

“This goes a long way towards helping us understand what is going on in these two planets, because on Neptune and Uranus they act in certain way that was puzzling, and now we are beginning to understand. Because they are made of carbon, because of the high pressure, because of the temperatures – there are probably vast oceans of diamonds. Just imagine having an ocean filled with liquid diamond and diamond icebergs,” he added.