Lucy in the sky IS diamonds

LucyDiamondStarWhiteDwarfFifty light years — that’s about 300,000,000,000,000 (300 quadrillion) miles — away from Earth is Lucy, a former star whose proverbial bulb has burned out.   And Lucy’s core has turned into a diamond.  In this case, the diamond is huge — the largest in the galaxy.  At 10 billion trillion trillion carats — 1 followed by 34 zeroes! — it’s, well, huge beyond imagination.  The largest terrestrial diamond, the Golden Jubilee Diamond, is about 500 carats — a 5, followed by two lonely zeroes.

How’d this happen?

When a star consumes all of its fuel, it burns out, leaving behind a white dwarf — a hot, crystallizing core.  For years, scientists have believed that the core, made mostly of carbon, turns into a diamond, but we have had no evidence supporting that thesis.  That all changed in 2004, when astronomers were able to use gong-like pulsations emanating from Lucy to determine that its core was a really big diamond and developed the model pictured above. 

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15 thoughts on “Lucy in the sky IS diamonds”

  1. Wow–a science article with a mistake! 300,000,000,000,000 is 300 trillion, not 300 quadrillion. Or was a set of three zeroes dropped in the copy and paste?

    Or does Mr. Meee not have as far to travel as he feared–I mean, thought?

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  2. Diamonds are common. I don’t understand why people go apeshit crazy over diamonds. I prefer emeralds. Rubies. GREEN SAPPHIRES. 😀

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  3. There is one huge downside. You can’t grab it. Due to the fact that it’s spinning so fast the gravity field it creates is so insane that you will be as flat as a pancake. Literally.

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