Astronomers discover planet covered in graphite and diamond

Twinkling stars are not the only diamonds in the sky. Scientists Thursday reported the existence of a “diamond planet” twice the size of Earth, and eight times its mass, zooming around a nearby star.

In fact, this is not the first diamond planet ever discovered, but it is the first found orbiting a sun-like star and whose chemical makeup has been specified.

The discovery means that distant rocky planets can no longer be assumed to have chemical constituents, interiors, atmospheres, or biologies similar to those of Earth, said lead researcher Nikku Madhusudhan, a Yale postdoctoral researcher in physics and astronomy.

The planet was first observed last year — but researchers initially assumed it was similar in its chemical make-up to Earth.

It was only after a more detailed analysis that the French-American research team determined the planet is vastly different from our own.

It “appears to be composed primarily of carbon (as graphite and diamond), iron, silicon carbide, and, possibly, some silicates,” the authors wrote in a statement ahead of their findings’ publication in the US journal “Astrophysical Journal Letters.”

“The surface of this planet is likely covered in graphite and diamond rather than water and granite,” he explained.

In fact, the planet, dubbed Cancri 55 e, appears to have no water at all. And as much as a third of the planet’s substantial mass could be made of diamond, a super-dense compound of carbon.

In comparison, the Earth’s interior is rich in oxygen and very poor in carbon, explained Kanani Lee, also of Yale and another of the study’s co-authors.


proove me the core samples or else your just pulling your dicks 🙂 the hell can they know this? without using theory and supposition..


~ by seeker401 on October 13, 2012.

4 Responses to “Astronomers discover planet covered in graphite and diamond”

  1. Just don’t let those pesky greenies know about it, otherwise they’ll be campaigning for carbon tax there 😉

  2. first russia and now this! lol

    story from life #4732: i did stellar spectography using some of the biggest optical telescopes in the usa. by splitting the light gathered through a prism, you separate out the various frequencies of light into a spectrum. you can definitely tell the composition of a star based on what frequencies it is producing, and from that you can deduce things like the age of the star.

    so i’m not that surprised that they found an object that they think has high amounts of carbon. the reason they turn it into a headline about “diamonds” is to being attention to themselves and thus increase their chances for continued funding.

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