Here in the solar system, we have several interesting different planets, but they are limited by the composition of our sun. Since the planets, moons, asteroids and other bodies are made up of what was left after the formation of the sun, their chemistry seems to be related to our host. Is.
But not all stars are made from the same thing as our Sun, which means that given the vast size of our galaxy, we can expect to find exoplanets differently from the offerings made in our tiny solar system.
For example, stars richer in carbon than our Sun – with more carbon than oxygen – may have esplanates that were originally formed with diamonds, some with silica, if conditions were right. And now, in a laboratory, scientists have squashed and heated silicon carbide to find out what those situations might be.
“These exoplanets are not unlike anything in our solar system,” said Harrison Allen-Sutter, a geophysicist at Arizona State University’s School of Earth and Space Exploration.
The idea that stars with an oxygen ratio higher than the Sun’s could make diamond planets originated with the discovery of the first 55 Cancri e, a super-Earth explanate a star orbiting a star thought 1 light-year away from carbon.
It was later discovered that this star is not as rich in carbon as previously thought, which gives value to this idea – at least 55 concrete e related
But between 12 and 17 percent of planetary systems may be located around carbon-rich stars – and to date thousands of explanate-hosting stars have identified the diamond planet as a separate possibility.
Scientists have already explored this idea and confirmed that such planets could be composed primarily of carbide, a mixture of carbon and other elements. If such a planet were rich in silicon carbide, the researchers speculated, and if silicon carbide were present to convert water into silicon and carbon, water could turn into carbon diamonds with sufficient heat and pressure.
To confirm their guess, they turned into the Evil Cell of the diamond, a device that put very small samples of material under very high pressure.
They take minute samples of silicon carbide and immerse them in water. Then, the samples were placed in the Diamond Evil Cell, which pressed them under pressure up to 50 gigapascals – about half a million times the Earth’s atmospheric pressure at sea level. After scattering the samples, the team heated them with lasers.
In all, they ran 18 tests – and they discovered that at high heat and high pressure, their silicon carbide samples reacted with water to convert them into silica and diamond, just as they had predicted.
Thus, the researchers concluded that silicon carbide planets could be oxidized in the presence of water at pressures up to 2,500 Kelvin and 50 gigapascals at temperatures, and their internal compositions could be influenced by silica and diamond.
If we could identify these planets – perhaps by their density profiles and the combination of their stars – then we could describe life as their planets.
The researchers said that their internal geological activity would be very difficult and that their composition would make their atmospheres hospitable to life as we know it.
“This is an additional step for us to understand and characterize it to improve the evolution and observation of exoplanets,” said Allen-Sutter.
“The more we learn, the more we will be able to interpret new data from future missions like the James Webb Space Telescope and the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope to understand these planets outside our solar system.”
Research has been published Journal of Planetary Science.