11 December 2010

And now there's Planet Bling

Hot on the heels of the discovery of a Zirconium star, Astronomers seem to have discovered diamond planet… of sorts anyway. According to the BBC a team of UK and US astronomers, including members of Keele University's astrophysics group, have found that the conditions on planet WASP-12b means that there it may be rich in diamonds.

The planet is the size of Jupiter, is a carbon-rich planet and orbits a star 1,200 light years away from Earth. It was originally found last year by the Wide Angle Search for Planets (WASP) project, the UK's leading team of planet discoverers. Since then it has been observed by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.

"Because WASP-12b is so close to its star and so hot," explains Prof Coel Hellier, "the Spitzer Space Telescope can detect the heat of the planet, and studying this radiation tells us which molecules are in its atmosphere."

"Predicting that there would be diamonds is an extrapolation, but we think that there could well be diamonds in a solar system made of the sort of material that this planet is made of," added Prof Hellier

Well there you have it. The galaxy just gets stranger and stranger….


Francis Hunt said...

"... up above the world so high,
like a diamond in the sky ..."

Sean Jeating said...

Now, if that's no profit promising enterprise for the de Beers's on Earth?
We should sponsor their rocket.
Here are my two pence.

Gattina said...

It's nice to discover new things outside our good old globe, but there are so many things to be solved first here ! There is still nothing efficient against cancer or aids, etc. I think they should invest all this money to tidy up our space on earth !

James Higham said...

What, have you never visited the Planet Bling before, Jams?

jams o donnell said...

There you go Francis, rhyme turns into art!

Haha Sean, Let's build the rocket and plan to put de Beers out of business by 4200 by the latest!

I agree there is plenty to be done on earth, Virtualy all of our problems and space research could be done if we decided not to waste obscen abounts of weapons world wide...

Ah yes and t is Croydon, James!

susan said...

Carbon, heat, pressure = diamond

or maybe just the galaxy's biggest lump of coal.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

I wouldn't get too excited about these diamonds, Jams. These could very well be blood diamonds, due to inhuman conditions the space cockroaches enforce on local sentient tribe of one legged aspirin pills, who actually mine these diamonds.

We should sort it out first... especially the definition of the "inhuman" conditions.

jams o donnell said...

Haha Susan!

Now there;s a thought,,, On the other hand mon ami the aliens may not have a bloodstream so they won't be blood diamonds... Just trying to think like De Beers here!