» more from Slideshows

The Diamond Planet

Announced earlier this year was the discovery of a planet primarily made up of carbon and so dense that a large portion of it is likely composed of diamond. The international team of astronomers who made the discovery told the journal Science that they believe the planet is slightly more massive than Jupiter but more than 20 times as dense. They also believe that the planet is a remnant of a once massive star that has lost its outer layers to a pulsar — a small, rapidly spinning dead neutron star that emits bursts of radiation — which the planet currently orbits once every 130 minutes.

Using Jupiter’s mass as an indication, if the planet was made of solid diamond, it would ring in at 37.974 nonillion carats (1 nonillion = 1 with 30 zeros). Unfortunately, the planet is approximately 4,000 light-years away from Earth, which places it far out of reach of today’s technology.

Photo: Swinburne.edu.au