Diamonds Are Forever

Or at least a few billion years:

Astronomers have spotted an exotic planet that seems to be made of diamond racing around a tiny star in our galactic backyard.

The new planet is far denser than any other known so far and consists largely of carbon. Because it is so dense, scientists calculate the carbon must be crystalline, so a large part of this strange world will effectively be diamond.

The evolutionary history and amazing density of the planet all suggest it is comprised of carbon — i.e. a massive diamond orbiting a neutron star every two hours in an orbit so tight it would fit inside our own Sun,” said Matthew Bailes of Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne.

In 2010, Arthur C. Clarke speculated that the core of Jupiter might be gigantic diamond. In this case, it’s the core of a star that was mostly destroyed as the pulsar formed. Its karat weight is a 1 followed by 31 zeros, roughly enough to get engaged to every woman from now until a hundred billion trillion years from now (unless they are from LA, in which case you should knock a couple of zeros off). Every two hours, this rock whips around a stellar remnant that is the size of a small city, weighs 1.4 times as much as the Sun and spins on its axis every 5.7 milliseconds, with beams of radio light blasting out of its poles.

Is this a cool universe or what?

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  1. Rann

    I always love when stuff like this is found, partly because it makes me snicker at people who dismiss everything odd or strange that they find in space in sci-fi, because… well, because it’s in sci-fi and it’s not something we’ve seen happen before so clearly it’s completely impossible bunkum.

    But the more we actually learn about the universe the more we find stuff that seems like it’s right out of an episode of Star Trek, and it’s awesome.

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  2. Section8

    Bernanke claims he can build a much larger planet out of T-Bills given the chance to purchase enough of them. I have no reason to question it.

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  3. richtaylor365

    Not just outer space, it’s stuff like this that blow my mind:

    Our world is a much wilder place than it looks. A new study estimates that Earth has almost 8.8 million species, but we’ve only discovered about a quarter of them. And some of the yet-to-be-seen ones could be in our own backyards, scientists say.

    So far, only 1.9 million species have been found. Recent discoveries have been small and weird: a psychedelic frogfish, a lizard the size of a dime and even a blind hairy mini-lobster at the bottom of the ocean.

    We don’t even have Earth down yet.

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    Said species are immediately declared “endangered” and all development is halted till intensive 3 year study can be completed on the habits and migratory actions ot the new species.

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