Astronomers Make A 'Gem' Of A Discovery - A Diamond Planet

By Sona Dolasia on September 8, 2011

Word Search

Just a few weeks ago, NASA's Kepler Spacecraft revealed a dark alien planet - Now, a collaboration of scientists from all over the world have announced something even more exciting - A diamond planet!

But before you get your drilling gear ready, bear in mind that the precious planet is 4,000 light years away or about an eighth of the way toward the center of the Milky Way, from Earth.

The only reason the astronomers were even able to spot it was because of the pulsar star it rotates around. Pulsars are small spinning stars that measure about 20km in diameter and emit a beam of radio waves that can be detected by sophisticated satellite telescopes on Earth. If they have a companion planet, which occurs only 1% of the time, the waves get interrupted thanks to the gravitational pull of the planet, as it rotates around its star.

When the international team of scientists from Australia that was monitoring the pulsar, which they call J1719-1438, noticed the modulations, they decided to investigate further using a special telescope in Cheshire, UK.

Based on modulations caused by the companion planet, they were able to determine that it is relatively small - about 60,000km in diameter and rotates around its pulsar planet from a similar distance -  Any closer, and it would have been decimated by its star.

However, despite the small size, its density is much greater than that of Jupiter, which sports about double the diameter. This, and the fact that it can orbit its pulsar star in a speedy 2 hours and 10 minutes, has led to several interesting conclusions about its origin and composition.

The astronomers believe that the 'diamond' planet was once a massive star - A companion to the pulsar J1719-1438. However, as the two came closer, it caused the pulsar to start spinning at extremely high speeds, which in turn, resulted in scraping off not only all the outer layers of the 'diamond' star, but also, 99.9% of its original mass.

Today, all that remains is a carbon-based core that the researchers believe is made of a crystalline structure similar to that of diamonds - Hence the nickname 'diamond planet' - Wonder what they will find next - Maybe a gold one? I sure hope so!

Resources: cosmosmagazine.com,dailymail.co.uk,

VocabularyPlay Game

compositioncrystallinedecimateddensitymodulations

Geography

Share by EmailShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on TwitterShare on PinterestShare on RedditShare on Edmodo
335 Comments
to use your custom avatar.
  • space amazingFriday, May 1, 2015 at 6:55 am
    that is so cool but insane
    • Surfs upFriday, March 27, 2015 at 10:05 am
      Wow
      • Kc undercoverFriday, March 27, 2015 at 10:04 am
        Cool
        • Kc undercoverFriday, March 27, 2015 at 10:03 am
          Lol
          • BobFriday, March 27, 2015 at 10:03 am
            Awesome
            • surfsupThursday, February 26, 2015 at 5:06 pm
              cool
              • termin8ter
                termin8terSunday, February 1, 2015 at 12:15 pm
                wow thats cool!
                • hatergirl
                  hatergirlWednesday, November 19, 2014 at 9:01 am
                  The only reason the astronomers were even able to spot it was because of the pulsar star it rotates around. Pulsars are small spinning stars that measure about 20km in diameter and emit a beam of radio waves that can be detected by sophisticated satellite telescopes on Earth. If they have a companion planet, which occurs only 1% of the time, the waves get interrupted thanks to the gravitational pull of the planet, as it rotates around its star.
                  • happypug12
                    happypug12Monday, November 17, 2014 at 4:08 am
                    Is that planet actually made out of diamond? Whoa.
                    • writingnerd
                      writingnerdThursday, November 13, 2014 at 2:39 pm
                      The discoveries scientists are making are amazing! A gold planet would be an awesome addition, but in opinion....well, I don't know if it'd be unlikely, after all, who would have thought we'd have a diamond planet!

                      Recent Comments

                      MIhoko Sanj wrote:

                      Love Dogo News! See you soon!
                      Happy July 4th!

                      Travis Bonte wrote:

                      horray my b-day!!!
                      Happy July 4th!

                      puppy80655
                      puppy80655 wrote:

                      uh i saw another article that sa...
                      Princess Abby Is The World's Ugl...

                      Our Apps and Plugins

                      ALA