Planet orbiting distant pulsar may be a giant diamond

Aug 26, 2011
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A crazy planet has been discovered orbiting a distant pulsar star that is roughly 4,000 light years away from Earth. What makes this planet so insane and exotic is that astronomers think the planet may be in large part a huge diamond. I guess Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star had it right after all. The new planet is far denser than any other known planet and is made largely of carbon according to astronomers.

The astronomers think that the diamond planet is likely the remains of a star that was massive long ago and had its outer layers stripped away by the pulsar it closely orbits. The orbit of the planet takes it so close to the pulsar that it orbits every two hours and ten minutes. The tight orbit would put it and the pulsar it circles inside our own sun.

The diamond planet has slightly more mass than Jupiter, but is 20 times as dense. Scientists admit that they have no idea what the planet would look like up close. One scientist named Ben Stappers from the University of Manchester says that he doesn't think this would be a shiny object like the diamonds we know.

[via Reuters]


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