illustrative Photo: Naked Science

Such planets common in the milky Way.

Mineralogists from the University of Arizona said that the planets oceans, which are common in the milky Way, may not be the bottom. To such conclusions researchers came by recreating in the laboratory the extreme pressure and the behavior of water and silicon in such conditions, reports with reference to the Naked science.

Planet oceans are covered with a layer of water in hundreds and even thousands of kilometers over solid silicate crust. Geochemistry of these worlds must be so different from this Earth. At the bottom of these planets, the pressure is so great that the behavior of water and silicon in these conditions is still unknown.

In the study, scientists have reproduced the conditions of the planets oceans, following what is happening with water and silicon at pressures up to 24 GPA (for comparison, the pressure at a depth of 100 km will be about 0.1 HPa). To create the desired pressure, the experiment was performed with diamond anvil – a heavy-duty conical diamond, which transmit the compression on the tip. Between the edges of the anvil is placed the sample, which contained silicon and water. In parallel, it was heated with laser beams to high temperatures, like the bottom of the ocean planet.

The experiments showed that in such extreme conditions substances in a rather exotic phase: silicate and water “mutually dissolved”, forming a mixture containing the mixed oxides of hydrogen and silicon. According to these results, the planet-the oceans may not even have a specific hard bottom, and their tremendous depth, the water enters silicate lithosphere through a semi-liquid mixed layer.