In the new study, we were able to find out exactly what could be hiding under the surface of Neptune, which is 4.5 billion km away from our star.
Extremely low temperatures on the ice giants suggest that their chemicals are also in a frozen state. These are mixtures of water, methane and ammonia, represented by a dense layer between the atmosphere and the core.
Scientists find it difficult to use laboratory experiments, because it is almost impossible to recreate such extreme conditions. Therefore, they decided to derive a computer model of mantle conditions. Analyzing the contact process of chemicals at high pressures and low temperatures, they predicted a possible composition.
The researchers found that frozen mixtures of ammonia and water form a poorly studied compound - ammonia hemihydrate. The team is going to study in depth this substance in order to understand how to classify new planets if they resemble ice giants.