[FoRK] white dwarf diamond
Gregory Alan Bolcer
gbolcer at endeavors.com
Fri Feb 13 17:34:06 PST 2004
Wow, this is really cool. I wonder what the danger
is for one of these things acting like a diamond prism
and accidentally channeling a whole bunch of starlight
right across the galaxy killing off millions of
aliens in a blink of an eye.
Astronomers spy 10 billion trillion trillion-carat diamond
The Associated Press
Last Updated 3:06 p.m. PST Friday, February 13, 2004
LOS ANGELES (AP) - If anyone's ever promised you the sun, the moon and
the stars, tell 'em you'll settle for BPM 37093.
The heart of that burned-out star with the no-nonsense name is a
sparkling diamond that weighs a staggering 10 billion trillion trillion
carats. That's one followed by 34 zeros.
The hunk of celestial bling is an estimated 2,500 miles across, said
Travis Metcalfe, of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.
"You would need a jeweler's loupe the size of the sun to grade this
diamond," said Metcalfe, who led the team that discovered the gem.
The diamond is a massive chunk of crystallized carbon that lies about
300 trillion miles from Earth, in the constellation Centaurus.
The galaxy's largest diamond is formally known as a white dwarf, or the
hot core of a dead sun.
Astronomers have suspected for decades that white dwarfs crystallized,
but only recently were able to verify the hypothesis.
A paper detailing the discovery has been submitted to The Astrophysical
Journal Letters for publication.
On the Net: http://cfa-www.harvard.edu/
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