Astrophysicists confirmed that carbide exoplanets could be made of diamonds
Scientists have experimentally established that some planets with a high carbon content may indeed have a huge diamond mantle layer.
By studying the atmosphere and geological structure of distant worlds, researchers at Arizona State University and the University of Chicago simulated the conditions in the interior of carbide exoplanets that revolve around stars with higher carbon contents than our Sun.
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To do this, they placed silicon carbide and water (which is very common in the universe) in cells with diamond anvils, creating a high pressure. The scientists then manipulated the sample with a laser to raise the temperature and control the reaction between the substances. Under these conditions, silicon carbide reacted with water, turning into diamonds and silica.
As a result, the team concluded that carbon-rich planets cannot support sufficient geological activity and their atmosphere is unfit for human habitation. However, the study will help scientists better interpret data from upcoming exoplanet observing missions.
Recall that earlier astronomers discovered an extreme exoplanet on which it rains from molten metal.
, iStock, layout: Arizona State University