“More than found in our solar system” (weekend special)

Diamond alien planet

“A planetary search is a search for life.” Natalie Battle, Kepler Mission Scientist at NASA Ames Research Center. Sometimes something really strange comes up, unlike anything in our solar system, in search of an inhabitable planet like Earth.

“The Age of Extraterrestrial Planets” was officially launched in October 1995 by the Nobel Prize winner. Michelle Mayor and Didier Kell Rose Announced the first discovery of a planet outside our solar system, an extraterrestrial planet, a planet orbiting a solar-type star in our home galaxy. A gas-certified Milky Way similar to Jupiter, the largest gas giant in our galaxy-Planet 51 Pegasy b. Their discovery started a revolution in astronomy, and since then more than 4,100 extraterrestrial planets have been discovered in the Milky Way. And almost every day a strange new world is being discovered.

“Extreme Life” of the Milky Way

Research teams from Arizona State University (ASU) and the University of Chicago have published one of these strange “something”. New research Published in The Planetary Science Journal. The researchers determined that some carbon-rich alien planets could be made of diamond and silica in the right environment. “This extraterrestrial planet is unlike anything in our solar system.” Harrison Allen-Shutter Of ASU’s Earth and Space Exploration School.

Diamond world

When stars and planets are formed, they form from the same gas cloud, so they have a similar bulk composition. A star with a low carbon to oxygen ratio will have an Earth-like planet composed of silicates and oxides with a very small diamond content (the Earth’s diamond content is about 0.001%).

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However, extraterrestrial planets around stars with a higher carbon to oxygen ratio than our Sun are more likely to be carbon rich. Allen-Sutter and co-authors hypothesized that this carbon-rich extraterrestrial planet could be converted to diamonds and silicates if water (which is abundant in space) to create a diamond-rich composition.

“Island World”-a whole new alien planet frontier

Hypothesis testing

To test this hypothesis, the research team had to use high heat and high pressure to mimic the interior of a carbide alien planet. To do this, they used a high-pressure diamond anvil cell in Sim’s co-author, Earth and Planetary Materials Laboratory. First, they immersed silicon carbide in water and pressed the sample between the diamonds under very high pressure. Then, laser heating was performed at Argon National Laboratory in Illinois to monitor the reaction between silicon carbide and water, and X-ray measurements were performed while the laser heated the sample at high pressure.

As they predicted, under high heat and pressure, silicon carbide reacted with water and turned into diamond and silica.

“Proof of existence”

Some astronomers have said it is irrelevant whether there are other forms of life found in the Milky Way or other galaxies. The fact that we are here gives the’proof of existence’ in mathematics. However, the search continues so far. Planetary scientists and space biologists are using sophisticated tools in space and Earth to find planets with the right properties for life to exist and the right location around the stars.

“Adjacent alien planets may be in the’early Earth’ stage of life.”–Carl Sagan Institute

However, for the carbon-rich planet that is the focus of this study, it is likely that life will not have the necessary properties. Although Earth is geologically active (indicator of habitability), the results of this study show that carbon-rich planets are too difficult to be geologically active, and their atmospheric composition can render humans uninhabited if they lack geological activity. . The atmosphere is important to life as it gives us the air to breathe, protects from the harsh space environment, and even the pressure that allows liquid water.

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“It’s an extra step that helps us understand and characterize the ever-increasing number of extraterrestrial planetary observations, regardless of their habitability,” Allen-Sutter says. “The more we learn, the better we can interpret new data from future missions such as the James Webb space telescope and the Nancy Grace Roman space telescope to understand the world beyond our solar system.”

The Daily Galaxy, Sam Cabot, via Arizona State University

Image Credit: Shutterstock License

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About the Author: Max Grant

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