Feeds

Moon-sized diamond found in space

Too much ice, even for J-Lo

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

The biggest ever diamond has been found floating in space. The gem, estimated at close to 10 billion trillion trillion carats, is at the core of a dead star (BPM 37093) - a crystallised white dwarf.

The newly-discovered diamond in the sky is a whopping great chunk of crystallised carbon 50 light-years from the Earth in the constellation Centaurus. It is 2,500 miles across (the moon is approximately 2,200 miles across) and weighs 5 million trillion trillion pounds. It has been dubbed "Lucy" in reference to the Beatles' song, "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds". Diamond specialists told the research team that if nothing else, the diamond was much too big to wear*.

Theorists have long speculated that the cores of extinct white dwarves would crystallise, but until now have had no way to prove it. However, the white dwarf is not only radiant but also harmonious. It rings like a gigantic gong, undergoing constant pulsations.

"By measuring those pulsations, we were able to study the hidden interior of the white dwarf, just like seismograph measurements of earthquakes allow geologists to study the interior of the Earth. We figured out that the carbon interior of this white dwarf has solidified to form the galaxy's largest diamond," explained Travis Metcalfe, head of the team at Harvard Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics.

Our own Sun will become a white dwarf when it dies 5 billion years from now, having first expanded to engulf almost everything in the solar system. Two billion years after that, the core will crystallise, leaving a giant diamond in its place. ®

*Ms. Lopez, please take note: there are limits...

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Every billionaire needs a PANZER TANK, right? STOP THERE, Paul Allen
Angry Microsoftie hauls auctioneers to court over stalled Pzkw. IV 'deal'
WRISTJOB LOVE BONANZA: justWatch sex app promises blind date hookups
Mankind shuffles into the future, five fingers at a time
Apple's Mr Havisham: Tim Cook says dead Steve Jobs' office has remained untouched
'I literally think about him every day' says biz baron's old friend
Cops apologise for leaving EXPLOSIVES in suitcase at airport
'Canine training exercise' SNAFU sees woman take home booming baggage
Flaming drone batteries ground commercial flight before takeoff
Passenger had Something To Declare, instead fiddled while plane burned
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.