Astronomers Uncover Diamond Planet - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Astronomers Uncover Diamond Planet

HUFFINGTONPOST.COM - The nursery song "twinkle twinkle, little star" might have a whole new meaning now that astronomers have found a planet they believe to be made almost entirely of diamonds.

Scientists say the planet exists about 4,000 light years away from Earth, and is probably the remnants of a once-large dead star, Reuters reports.

"The evolutionary history and amazing density of the planet all suggest it is comprised of carbon," Matthew Bailes of the University of Technology in Melbourne told Reuters. He calls it "a massive diamond orbiting a neutron star every two hours in an orbit so tight it would fit inside our own Sun."

The Daily Mail reported that, even though the planet is small in size, it has slightly more mass than the planet Jupiter.

Scientists were able to find the planet by tracking its companion star, or a pulsar, using the Parkes Radio Telescope in Australia.

As to what the diamond planet looks like, Ben Stappers of the University of Manchester told The Macadonean International News Agency (MINA) it's probably not what everyone pictures: "I don't know I could even speculate. I don't imagine that a picture of a very shiny object is what we're looking at here."

Astronomers detected a similar planet in December 2010, only 1,200 light years away.

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