‘Diamond’ Planet Found in Space by Astronomers

by on March 7th, 2015
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Have you ever heard the saying: “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend?” Well, in this case, diamonds are an astronomer’s best friend.

As unbelievable as it sounds, astronomers claim in the journal, Science, that they have found a diamond planet – with the theory that it is the core of what was a much larger star at one time. This find is estimated to be orbiting a star about 4,000 light years away, and is five times the size of the Earth.

How Diamonds Form on Earth
Diamonds found naturally on Earth are typically formed 87 to 127 miles down, into the Earth’s mantle. A diamond comes from a carbon source, and is formed over time, when tremendous pressure – like a volcanic eruption – is exerted on the carbon, compacting it into a denser form.

Similarly, it is estimated that the diamond planet is a densely packed diamond, formed from extreme pressures in space, forming over an extended period of time.

This diamond planet is also believed to contain oxygen, more closer to the surface than at the core. At the same time, lighter elements – such as helium and hydrogen – would not be present because of the high density composition of the planet. Thus, being the opposite of the planet Jupiter, which is richly composed of helium and hydrogen, and has a low density.

Although this planet is a called a “diamond,” scientists do not know if the diamond planet actually looks like the diamonds we have on Earth. But, one thing is a fact: This is one planet that is creating a lot of buzz in jewelry stores all over the world.

Sources:
Mirror.co.uk staff. ‘Diamond planet’ discovered. Mirror.co.uk.
Hirschler, Ben. Astronomers discover planet made of diamond. Reuters.com.
Diamond entry. Wikipedia.org.


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