Get ready to meet a new and not very friendly kind of ice. It is formed at a speed of more than 1600 km / h deep under our feet and is able to select the last hopes of detecting alien life forms. Pleases at least the fact that scientists have finally figured out how it all works.
Back in March, researchers reported that they had found the first evidence for the existence of the substance “Ice VII”, which had long been predicted. It was believed that, under the right conditions, ice could form in water without a layer of heat at the leading edge of the growing surface. With superstrong pressure and a certain temperature, this will allow ice to form without most of the usual inhibiting factors. It would also differ in its crystal structure or atomic arrangement.
Scientists now report that they first discovered this elusive ice in the frozen water cores of diamonds mined from the depths of the Earth. Diamonds with Ice VII were found in the transition zone of the mantle at a depth from 410 km to 660 km. Scientists understood that the find has a crystalline structure that differs from the type of ice created in clouds or lakes. But for a long time the process of formation remained a mystery. New research has shown that there are special combinations of temperature and pressure at which Ice VII appears. It begins to form at the level of 20,700 times the atmospheric pressure of the Earth (at sea level) and at 4.9 ° C.
Researchers believe that this combination creates problems for the detection of alien life. Pressure peaks, for example, from meteoric impacts, can cause the explosive formation of Ice VII on watery planets. As a result, life will go out in the early stages of development.