Diamonds in the Sky

Photo (cc) by Kim-bodia

Researchers have discovered a planet whose surface may be covered in diamonds. It’s twice as big as Earth, according to Reuters

Orbiting a star that is visible to the naked eye, astronomers have discovered a planet twice the size of our own made largely out of diamond.

The rocky planet, called ’55 Cancri e’, orbits a sun-like star in the constellation of Cancer and is moving so fast that a year there lasts a mere 18 hours.

Discovered by a U.S.-Franco research team, its radius is twice that of Earth’s but it is much more dense with a mass eight times greater. It is also incredibly hot, with temperatures on its surface reaching 3,900 degrees Fahrenheit (1,648 Celsius).

That’s a boring name for a planet made of diamond that covers a year of ground (or space) in 18 hours. We should call the planet Lucy. (You know, like the Beatles song.) Anyway, researchers believe the diamond accounts for at least a third of the planet’s mass – which would be the mass of three Earths.

Any chance we can mine it? Probably not, since it’s “about 40 light years, or 230 trillion miles” away.

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