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Planet Bling

February 7, 2013

Eva Gusnowski

If diamonds are a girl’s best friend, then I guess I found my BBFFL (bestest-best-friend-for-life).

Meet 55 Cancri e. Although only twice the size of Earth, 55 Cancri e is predicted to be eight times Earth’s mass. And although it may be relatively uninhabitable because its surface is over 2000 degrees Celsius (about 3900 Fahrenheit for you non-metric folk), the planet appears to be made mostly out of carbon.

                                       www.space.com


Originally astronomers thought that this planet had graphite and water on its surface. More recent research has a new proposal, and this one is likely to be more attractive to the Kanye’s of the world. The new study accounts for the high mass of 55 Cancri e by proposing that it is composed of graphite and diamond. In fact, they predict that nearly a third of 55 Cancri e’s mass, or the equivalent of approximately 3 Earths, is composed of diamond.

If I actually cared about diamonds I might be more excited about the concept of this planet. For now I’ll just appreciate the extra sparkle that it adds to astronomy. With perfect cut and clarity, of course.

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