Looks like astronomers have found yet another reason to keep America’s interest in outer space going … “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,” Reuters reports. Holy cow! So no more need to buy blood diamonds … just a reason to fight over space domination! Hooray! (Now Jennifer Aniston can rest easy that she hasn’t depleted our source of diamonds with that 8-carat rock.) I say, engagement rings for everyone! I want a right hand ring right now!
“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,” reporters say. It might be difficult to excavate the diamonds on 55 Cancri e’s surface, since it’s a toasty 3,900 degrees Fahrenheit there. The research that led to this discovery was led by Nikku Madhusudhan of Yale and Olivier Mousis of the Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planetologie in Toulouse, France. Their findings will be published in the journal Astrophysical Journal Letters.
Most interestingly, from a scientific point of view, anyway, is that researchers say this “discovery of the carbon-rich planet meant distant rocky planets could no longer be assumed to have chemical constituents, interiors, atmospheres, or biologies similar to Earth.” David Spergel, an astronomer at Princeton University, told Reuters, “This ‘diamond-rich super-Earth’ is likely just one example of the rich sets of discoveries that await us as we begin to explore planets around nearby stars.”
p.s. – I don’t really care about diamonds. I mean, they’re nice and all, but if someone discovers the moon is really made of blue cheese, call me.
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