Written by Rajlaxmi, a grade 6 student
Did you know that precious stones exist in space? Here’s all about it
Diamonds in Space
In 2012, scientists announced they’d found a planet, 55 Cancri e, that was made of diamond. The idea was based on estimates of the planet’s size and density. Later the research was proven wrong.
Diamonds need particular needs to form. Those being- extremely high temperatures, pressure, and lack of oxygen.
In 1987, scientists found nano-diamonds in meteorites. Ureilite meteorites, a type of meteorite containing a high amount of carbon, which hit a village in 1886 contained diamonds.
Research suggests that the gems were formed in a planetary body as old as the universe. It also suggests that it could be ‘raining diamonds’ on Uranus and Neptune. Scientists conducted experiments, in which they recreated the conditions and it was proven that they were intense enough to form diamonds. Since diamonds are heavier than the environment, they sink into the ground.
Also, Opal, Sapphire & Rubies
For opal to form, there has to be water and heat- such as volcanic eruptions- both of which are there on Mars.
In 2008, in one of those small views, (researchers can’t just measure the entire planet at the same time. They use the technology to look at one very small region at a time) Clark’s team found Opaline Silica, a component of opal. Because much of the planet is covered in dust storms, they couldn’t see areas exposed clearly and confirm.
Researchers also predict that planets in outer space/other solar systems could also contain sapphires and rubies based on their size and proximity to the star at the center of their systems.
Scientists have found evidence of cubic zirconia in Moon rocks, proving that the universe not only contains but its own fire-safe knock-offs. Space could be absolutely shimmering with precious stones, based on the fact that many planets have the perfect conditions for creating stones.
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