Sunday, October 14, 2012

31 Days of Planets: 55 Cancri e

Day 11

55 Cancri e is an exciting planet for multiple reasons. It orbits the sun-like star 55 Cancri A (very creative naming convention, I know). A sun-like star! You know what that means? There may be the possibility of an Earth-like planet which orbits a sun-like star, and an Earth-like planet may have Earth-like life... Aliens would be the best Christmas present ever.

In October 2012, they announced that this planet is a carbon planet. If the planet is composed largely of carbon, and is regularly subjected to high temperatures (over 3000 degrees F) and high pressure, then the carbon on this planet could be largely composed of diamond. A diamond planet! Amazing.

Imagine the views - so much sparkling! Of course, rough diamonds are not nearly as sparkly as cut diamonds, but it's fun to imagine... castles cut out of the ground, glittering turrets and impenetrable glowing walls; rolling hills of graphite, and kings who are never at a loss for diamond pencils.

And here it is - an artist's conception of the diamond planet orbiting its sun:

And the diamond core - which in real life is probably not so sparkly -

In conclusion - a diamond ring might be nice, but a diamond planet would be amazing.

Pictures from Reuters.

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