Yale University Scientists discover a ‘diamond planet’
Scientists working at the Yale University have come up with a new discovery. It has been reported that a super-Earth has been located nearby, that is being termed as the “diamond planet”. This planet has a layer that is made of diamond and graphite.
This planet has been named 55 Cancri e and is situated 40 light years away from the Earth. It revolved around the binary star named 55 Cancri, which is set in the Cancer constellation. This planet was observed for the first time last year. It was then thought to be a water planet, very similar to Earth. But the latest information about this planet has allowed these scientists to deduce that this planet is more of a diamond planet.
55 Cancri e is being denoted as a super-Earth as it is much larger than the Earth. However, it is not as enormous as the other gas giants placed in the Solar System. This new planet’s similarities with Earth are only that much. It has twice of Earth’s radius, eight times more of Earth’ mass. This planet is the innermost compared to the other planets in the 55 Cancri system and therefore its surface’s temperature is 3,900 F (2150 degree Celsius). Also its year lasts for only about 18 hours as compared to the Earth’s 365 days.
This star system primarily comprises of iron, silicon and carbon and through millions of years of compression by heat and pressure, this planet’s carbon covering has slowly got converted into diamond. The Yale University scientists have estimated that one-third of 55 Cancri e’s mass comprises of diamond which is equivalent to three of Earth’s masses. This means there is trillion times more number of diamonds than what has ever been mined on Earth.
Earlier it was expected that all planets had the same make-up as Earth and this discovery has safely broken that myth.