Uranus and Neptune have so many similarities and hence the two ice giant planets are called twins. Their atmosphere contains high levels of methane, which gives them a bluish color. Methane consists of carbon and the temperature and pressure conditions on these two planets are so extreme that carbon atoms can be crushed into diamonds in their atmospheres.
In a podcast hosted by NASA, Naomi Rowe-Gurney, a postdoctoral research associate at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center via Howard University, explained: “Well, methane does contain carbon and that carbon could be on its own and by the giant.” Could also be crushed. The pressure that is, like, deep in the atmosphere, much deeper than the levels I see. And inside the planet, when it gets really hot and really dense, these diamonds are formed. and accumulate, and then they become even heavier. . . and that means they are raining down into the atmosphere.”
He further added that it is not the rain that we see here on Earth because these pressures are extreme, and you as a human being will never be able to get there. So even if these were diamonds, we would never be able to go and grab them.
Is it raining diamonds? Maybe! The temperature and pressure conditions on Neptune and Uranus are so extreme that carbon atoms can be crushed into diamonds in their atmospheres. Learn more about the latest episode of the “Gravity Assist” podcast here >> https://t.co/WqUfmAkawl
— NASA Marshall (@NASA_Marshall) 2 July 2022
NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will explore two of our solar system’s ice giants, along with many other exciting and mysterious objects in our universe. The mighty telescope, which is currently in the final stages of commissioning its science instruments. Will solve mysteries in our solar system, look beyond the distant worlds around other stars, and investigate the mysterious structures and origins of our universe and our place in it.