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It just keeps getting weirder...

In Tom Godwin's, "Mother of Invention", a party of explorers trapped on a planet with way too much of a good thing (diamonds - including diamond dust sucked into the drive mechanism of their ship, ruining it) had to invent a really big new way home. (You can find the story in "The Cold Equations" from Baen Books). I still don't quite believe the solution (or why the grit didn't get THEM for that matter), but I'm beginning to believe in the planet...

"Diamond" Planet Found; May Be Stripped Star

Exotic crystalline world orbits fast-spinning stellar corpse, study says

Andrew Fazekas

for National Geographic News

Published August 25, 2011

An exotic planet as dense as diamond has been found in the Milky Way, and astronomers think the world is a former star that got transformed by its orbital partner.

The odd planet was discovered orbiting what's known as a millisecond pulsar—a tiny, fast-spinning corpse of a massive star that died in a supernova.

Astronomers estimate that the newfound planet is 34,175 miles (55,000 kilometers) across, or about five times Earth's diameter.

In addition, "we are very confident it has a density about 18 times that of water," said study leader Matthew Bailes, an astronomer at the Swinburne Centre for Astrophysics & Supercomputing in Melbourne, Australia.

"This means it can't be made of gases like hydrogen and helium like most stars but [must be made of] heavier elements like carbon and oxygen, making it most likely crystalline in nature, like a diamond."

Partner Gave Pulsar a Superfast Spin

The new millisecond pulsar, dubbed PSR J1719-1438, lies about 4,000 light-years away in the southern constellation Serpens. Bailes and his team found the star during a pulsar survey using the radio telescope at Australia's Parkes Observatory.



( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 26th, 2011 02:01 pm (UTC)
It has been repeatedly theorized that Jupiter has a diamond core at its center.
Aug. 26th, 2011 04:22 pm (UTC)
Now if somehow you could attach it to one of the rings of Saturn, you'd have a very nice piece of oversized jewelry.
Aug. 26th, 2011 04:50 pm (UTC)
There's also a star out there with a core of gold. And that means more than one of those planets and more than one of those stars.
Aug. 26th, 2011 11:13 pm (UTC)
Hmmm. I'm imagining a science fiction story. A group of impoverished students hijack a spaceship and mine tons of gold (however much a spaceship can carry) from a gold planet. Then they divide it up in a lot of small pieces, and at about the same moment, sell the pieces at every coin and jewelry shop on Earth that buys gold. They use the money to buy diamonds, as a hedge against the money losing its value in case what they do crashes the economy, only to find out that diamonds have become worthless due to another group doing the exact same thing with the diamond planet and buying gold.

Too bad I'm not a writer.
Aug. 29th, 2011 02:53 am (UTC)
It's strange out there...
And this is crazier than the three (possibly four) planets orbiting PSR 1257? (something around 300 pc from Sol)
Aug. 30th, 2011 01:47 am (UTC)
Re: It's strange out there...
Oh, it's ALL strange. The further you get from home, the more strange you get to see.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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