A new study has suggested that exoplanets – worlds outside of our solar system – that are high in carbon could be made of diamonds.
Planets formed around our Sun, which has a low carbon-to-oxygen ratio, are more similar to the Earth.
The Earth’s diamond content is very low, at only 0.001 per cent; it is comprised mostly of silicates and oxides.
However, around a star with a high carbon-to-oxygen ratio could see planets form which much greater diamond content.
“These exoplanets are unlike anything in our solar system,” said lead author Harrison Allen-Sutter.
The study, published in The Planetary Science Journal, suggests that as long as water was present, then the carbon could be converted into diamond and silicate.
Researchers from Arizona State University and the University of Chicago came to this conclusion by recreating the interior of carbide (a compound of carbon and another metal) exoplanet with heat and high pressure.
They immersed silicon carbide in water and compressed the sample between diamonds cells, taken from a diamond-anvil, at a high pressure.
Read more: The Independent