According to a report released by scientists yesterday, there is a real-life “diamond planet”, twice the size of Earth and eight times its mass, zooming around a nearby star; “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.” Continue reading for the news report and more information.
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 surface of this planet is likely covered in graphite and diamond rather than water and granite,” Madhusudhan noted. In fact, the planet 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 study co-author Kanani Lee of Yale.