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Like a Diamond in the Sky…?

By: Sara Walter to astronomy

An Artist's Depiction of the Diamond Planet.

 

Australian astronomers have recently discovered a diamond planet in space on Thursday August, 25th. Before it became a diamond planet it was known as a White Dwarf.  The Diamond planet was created by radio waves coming off the planet’s sun, a rare spinning neutron star named PSR J1719-1438. Researchers reported in Science that the radio waves were let of by PSR J1719-1438 a little over every two hours and it only sent one wave at a time. These waves ate away at the planet’s surface until it was one big diamond.  Matthew Bailes at the Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne says that,”the evolutionary history and amazing density of the planet all suggest it is comprised of carbon,” and a little oxygen. With the strong pull of gravity the carbon crystallizes making the planet one big diamond.

The mega huge diamond is about half the size of Jupiter with the same mass, but it’s density is twenty times more than Jupiter. It’s diameter has been measured to be approximately 34,175 miles. The over-sized gem is located in the Serpens constellation, which is, from our solar system, only an eighth of the way toward the middle of the Milky Way.

Most spinning pulsars that spin at a rate faster than once every twenty milliseconds are part of a binary star system and usually only thirty percent of them are companied by other stars or planets. This specific discovery is so rare because there is only one other existing spinning pulsar with an companion the size of a planet. This discovery brings a whole new truth to the child lullaby “Twinkle, Twinkle little star.”

For Further Reading:
theweek.com/article/index/218655/a-planet-made-of-diamonds
news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2011/08/scienceshot-diamond-planet-orbits.html?ref=hp
 

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