Astronomers have discovered a planet twice the size of the earth and made largely out of diamond.
Rappers get the kick out of things like this, you know. There are already lines like this; ‘I don’t give a sh*t that Ritz is big…I got a planet that would make Ritz insignificant…I’ll be richer than earth with Cancri e’
The rocky planet, called 55 Cancri e, orbits a sun-like star in the constellation of Cancer and is moving so fast that a year there lasts a mere 18 hours.
They estimate that at least a third of the planet’s mass which is the equivalent of about three Earth masses (i.e. X 3), could be diamond.
Discovered by a US-Franco research team, its radius is twice that of Earth’s but it is much more dense with a mass eight times greater.
Don’t start thinking of going there yet; it is incredibly hot, with temperatures on its surface reaching 1,648 degrees Celsius(earth’s surface temperature is averagely 14 degrees Celsius).
Lead researcher, Nikku Madhusudhan says: “This is our first glimpse of a rocky world with a fundamentally different chemistry from Earth.
“The surface of this planet is likely covered in graphite and diamond rather than water and granite.”
He said the discovery of the carbon-rich planet meant distant rocky planets could no longer be assumed to have chemical constituents, interiors, atmospheres or biologies similar to Earth.
David Spergel, an astronomer at Princeton University, said it was relatively simple to work out the basic structure and history of a star once you know its mass and age.
“Planets are much more complex,” he said.
“This ‘diamond-rich super-Earth’ is likely just one example of the rich sets of discoveries that await us as we begin to explore planets around nearby stars.”
55 Cancri e is about 40 light years from Earth