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such a nasty woman | by maryann johanson

remember that diamond planet from the ‘Doctor Who’ episode “Midnight”?

Midnight the diamond planet Doctor Who

Astronomers found it. No, really. Scientific American says so:

Diamond World Discovered by Astronomers

A planet-like body 4,000 light years away may be the compacted remains of a white dwarf star that is now mostly diamond.

Say you need a diamond. You could go down to the jeweler, or you could put some carbon deep underground and let it sit for a couple billion years. Or you could hop in a starship and cruise 4,000 light years over to a dead star called pulsar J1719-1438.

The pulsar is exotic on its own—it’s a super-dense remnant of a star spinning at about 10,000 rpm. But far more curious is the world orbiting it, which might be called a planet if it weren’t so strange.

It’s about as massive as Jupiter, but much more compact. It may be the remains of a carbon-rich white dwarf star. But it’s been mostly cannibalized by its pulsar companion, and is now just a shadow of its former self.

The object’s incredible density makes it subject to great internal pressure. And that pressure, acting on the carbon-rich makeup of the white dwarf, may have crystallized much of it to the particular form of carbon we call diamond.

Can we go? Can we? Huh? Please…

(Thanks to LaSargenta for the link.)

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  • Benjamin West

    Of course! ALLONSY!

  • Jethro


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