Astronomers today have figured out that 55 Cancri e, a planet that's double Earth's size, is largely made of diamonds. Pretty awesome news for gem hunters, but first we need to figure out how to build a warp drive and survive 3,900 degrees Farenheit to get there. "The surface of this planet is likely covered in graphite and diamond rather than water and granite," Nikku Madhusudhan, a Yale researcher whose findings about the planet are due to be published, told Reuters' Chris Wickham. Cha-ching! Or clink-clink ... or whatever sound the cashing in of diamonds make.
Space.com's Clara Moskowitz mentions that though the planet was first found in 2004, these new findings suggest that "at least a third of the planet's mass is likely pure diamond." So yeah, a planet made of one of the most expensive gems on this planet is pretty awesome, the stuff of James Bond plots and laser-beam lore. Today's findings also bring us back to that story from last month about Russia hoarding a diamond-encrusted asteroid. The only thing about 55 Cancri e is that as with the most expensive diamonds, we're going to have to admire it from afar. Per Reuters, it's about 40 light years (230 trillion miles give or take) from Earth. And it's apparently a pretty inhospitable place once you do get there, notwithstanding the bling: "It is also incredibly hot, with temperatures on its surface reaching 3,900 degrees Fahrenheit (1,648 Celsius)." But, you know, diamonds are forever.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.