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A Diamond the Size of Earth

Posted on July 31st, 2014 by Joe G

A professor and a group of astronomers at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee have discovered a white dwarf star estimated to be 11 billion years old. White dwarfs were at one time similar to our own sun, but have shrunk and faded over billions of years. What makes this specific star so remarkable is the fact that its carbon has crystallized due to its dimness and cool temperature – essentially making it a diamond the size of Earth.

So how cool is its temperature? The group estimated it to be about 2,700 degrees Celsius, or nearly 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Sounds hot, but our sun is around 5,000 times hotter at its center. The researchers speculate that a star would become mostly crystallized carbon – just like a diamond – at this temperature.

This very dim “diamond” star is in orbit with a pulsar, making it easier to find. Who knows how many other similar objects are out there?


Courtesy of Forbes


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