Diamond Planet!

A rather bizzare piece of extra terrestrial news emerged this week. In a letter to Nature, a group of physicists led by Nikku Madhusudhan may have just found a planet made of diamond! The planet going by the catchy name of WASP-12b  – I’m just going to call it “Midnight” – is made up mostly of carbon, rather than oxygen. The atmosphere is bombarded by crap-loads of radiation too because it’s so near its sun.

It’s possible to find out what a planet or star is made of by observing what light it emits – WASP-12b doesn’t have much water, but it has lots of the carbon containing compound methane in its atmosphere. Potentially this carbon-rich planet could be solid, and could be made of graphite or diamond (both are forms of carbon). Which reminds me of something in my Sci-fi TV addled brain….

It’s made of diamond (check) no one can survive on the surface because of the weirdo-intense radiation (check) and there’s a Timelord wandering around there (…ah… maybe not). Anyway, this ep’s being shown tonight on BBC3, so give it a watch. And try not to freak yourself out…

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  1. #1 by RedHeadFashionista on January 18, 2011 - 13:35

    WIN!

  1. Another Diamond Planet « Follow the Lemur

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