Exoplanets Made of Diamonds May Not Represent just a Sci-Fi Scenario

If the Universe is truly infinite in space, it could be host to pretty much anything that we can imagine ourselves. But science teaches us that even space itself has its limits, although there’s no telling what exists beyond the boundaries. And if it’s nothing, it seems impossible to understand total ‘nothingness’. But even within a limited Universe, the possibilities for what we can find are beyond human imagination.

If you plan to add enormous amounts of diamonds to your collection, scientists from Arizona State University and the University of Chicago can tell you where to find them. They believe that exoplanets rich in carbon could be made of diamonds and silica. Of course, you’ll also have to invent a way to travel to any exoplanets during a human lifetime, as the distances are enormous. If you somehow succeed, please don’t keep it for yourself!

Unlike anything in our solar system

A star that runs low on carbon-to-oxygen ratio will be hosting planets that are comprised of silicates and oxides, and they’ll have a very small diamond content. Earth qualifies for this description, as it has diamond content much less than 0.1%.

The exoplanets that revolve around stars that possess a higher carbon-to-oxygen ratio than our sun have a much bigger chance of being carbon-rich. If water is also present, these carbon-rich exoplanets could make the conversion to diamond and silicate, resulting in a diamond-rich composition. Water is a common substance throughout the Universe, as it doesn’t necessarily have to be in a liquid state.

Researchers who participated in the study were the lead author Harrison Allen-Sutter of ASU’s School of Earth and Space Exploration, and co-authors Emily Garhart, Kurt Leinenweber, and Dan Shim of ASU, along with Vitali Prakapenka and Eran Greenberg of the University of Chicago.

The new study was published in The Planetary Science Journal.

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