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Diamond Planets: Rich Possibilities for Other Worlds
Science - Space.com ^ | Tue Feb 8,11:21 AM ET | Robert Roy Britt

Posted on 02/08/2005 3:59:42 PM PST by wingblade

Diamond Planets: Rich Possibilities for Other Worlds

The solid planets in our solar system are made mostly of silicates. Rock, basically. A new study shows that planets around some other stars might be made mostly of carbon instead. Deep inside such worlds, where pressures are intense, the carbon would make layers of diamonds that could be miles thick.

The rich-sounding worlds are modeled after a certain type of space rock, known as the carbonaceous chondrite, which are thought to be broken bits of asteroids. Many of them have been collected on Earth.

"These meteorites contain large quantities of carbon compounds such as carbides, organics, and graphite, and even the occasional tiny diamond," Marc Kuchner of Princeton University said in a teleconference with reporters Monday evening from an extrasolar planet conference in Aspen.

The idea builds on other reasonable theories.

The planets in our solar system formed from a disk of gas and dust left behind from the Sun's formation. In regions where there was extra carbon or a lack of oxygen, carbon compounds like graphite and carbides would condense out of the mix, instead of stone.

Carbides are a ceramic used to line the cylinders of engines. They can take the heat of being very close to a star.

Kuchner and his colleague, Sara Seager of the Carnegie Institute of Washington, figure that concept fits nicely with discoveries of planets around other stars, including some that are surprisingly close to their host stars -- much closer than Mercury is to the Sun. Carbon planets could survive at high temperatures near a star, they say.

Another set of candidates for diamond-laden planets are the dark worlds orbiting a dead, fast-spinning star known as PSR 1257+12. These planets -- three of them are roughly Earth-sized -- might have been formed by the destruction of a carbon-rich star, Kuchner said.

Carbon planets might also be common near the center of the galaxy, where stars are known to contain more carbon than out here on the spiral arms where our solar system resides, some 26,000 light-years from the galactic middle.

"There's no reason to think that extrasolar planets will be just like the planets in the solar system." Kuchner said. "The possibilities are startling."

Carbon planets might have smoggy atmospheres laden with carbon dioxide, and a surface covered with tar-like precipitation. "A little bit like Los Angeles," Kuchner said.

Future telescopes might identify some of these offbeat orbs by noting these characteristics and a lack of water.

One day, diamonds could lose their allure by sheer overstocking. The entire galaxy is growing richer in carbon as generation after generation of stars produce heavier elements. In the future, Kuchner and Seager contend, all planets might form as carbon worlds.


TOPICS: Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: czisstillcheaper; xplanets
Diamonds are forever (as far as we know).
1 posted on 02/08/2005 3:59:42 PM PST by wingblade
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To: wingblade
extrasolar planet conference

He's Dead Jim!

2 posted on 02/08/2005 4:01:44 PM PST by rocksblues (Liberalism is a sickness not a political ideology)
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To: wingblade

Probably a good place to meet girls.


3 posted on 02/08/2005 4:09:50 PM PST by ElkGroveDan
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To: wingblade
"One day, diamonds could lose their allure by sheer overstocking."

They are already overly abundant. Not as rare as the diamond industry would have people believe.

4 posted on 02/08/2005 4:13:58 PM PST by BROKKANIC
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To: wingblade

When will DeBeers get into the space race so no one else can claim the diamonds? Or will they claim outer space diamonds are fakes? Or will they build weapons platforms and blow up anything coming back to Earth that might have diamonds in it? Just curious because they tend to get really paranoid when other people besides themselves get into the diamond business.


5 posted on 02/08/2005 4:14:55 PM PST by Captain Beyond (The Hammer of the gods! (Just a cool line from a Led Zep song))
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To: Captain Beyond

I was gonna post the exact same thing. Those guys will stop at nothing to keep diamonds inflated in price. I'd love to see the price of diamonds collapse, but nobody is willing to take out that corrupt tyranny called 'DeBeers'.


6 posted on 02/08/2005 4:18:12 PM PST by G32
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To: wingblade
Aurthur Clarke theorized that, on a planet like Jupiter that is mostly hydrogen and other light elements, the heaviest elements would settle in the core. In jupiter's case the heavies element might be carbon. Clarke was guessing that, based on the ratio of observable carbon, the core would be a diamond about the size of our moon.

That's a beautiful idea somehow

7 posted on 02/08/2005 4:26:50 PM PST by muir_redwoods
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To: BROKKANIC

De Beers is responsible for the greatest scam of all time.

Not just the monopoly and inflated prices, but they CREATED the myth that it was "traditional" to buy diamond rings for engagements and weddings.


8 posted on 02/08/2005 4:33:36 PM PST by Strategerist
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To: wingblade


This will be nothing like the last minute rush for Cubic Zirconia Planets.


9 posted on 02/08/2005 4:36:53 PM PST by TADSLOS (Right Wing Infidel since 1954)
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To: BROKKANIC
Not as rare as the diamond industry would have people believe.

Saw a movie on Showtime or one of the movie channels called "The Core", a center of the earth journey but not in the Jules Verne image. Anyway they were going through molten magma and at one point doging diamonds as big as cape code.

I thought of DeBeers right then and thought they'd $#!t if such a find was ever made.

10 posted on 02/08/2005 4:42:06 PM PST by AFreeBird (your mileage may vary)
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To: G32

Diamonds are actually quite plentiful. The price is kept high because of the cartel..Debeers. Limit what goes to market and create an artificial shortage... higher prices.


11 posted on 02/08/2005 4:46:21 PM PST by brooklin (What was that?)
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To: wingblade

Diamonds soon will be worth no more than quartz, as the technology to produce flawless diamonds becomes ever cheaper. Don't contribute to the price-inflating diamond mafia of DeBeers.


12 posted on 02/08/2005 5:00:00 PM PST by montag813
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To: Captain Beyond
"When will DeBeers get into the space race so no one else can claim the diamonds? Or will they claim outer space diamonds are fakes? Or will they build weapons platforms and blow up anything coming back to Earth that might have diamonds in it?"

They will make up some term like "blood diamonds" and have governments declare all diamonds but DeBEers' off-limits.

13 posted on 02/08/2005 5:01:37 PM PST by Montfort
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To: wingblade
Diamonds are forever (as far as we know).

Unless you burn them.
14 posted on 02/08/2005 5:03:31 PM PST by aruanan
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To: aruanan

They also ablate.


15 posted on 02/08/2005 5:26:54 PM PST by Geritol (Lord willing, there will be a later...)
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To: wingblade
Old news: Diamonds on Neptune

Any gas giant planet with enough methane will have diamonds.

16 posted on 02/08/2005 5:35:03 PM PST by e_engineer
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To: wingblade

Well, I imagine DeBeers will be coming out against space exploration shortly. ;)


17 posted on 02/08/2005 5:37:11 PM PST by swilhelm73 (Appeasers believe that if you keep on throwing steaks to a tiger, the tiger will become a vegetarian)
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To: AFreeBird
Saw a movie on Showtime or one of the movie channels called "The Core", a center of the earth journey but not in the Jules Verne image. Anyway they were going through molten magma and at one point doging diamonds as big as cape code.

There was an article awhile back about researchers discovering that in the south pole with the thick ice sheets there are supposed to be huge diamond reserves and I believe someone was trying to gather the money to do some mining there.
18 posted on 02/08/2005 5:48:15 PM PST by Brian328i
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To: wingblade


The French were bred to die for love
they delight in fighting duels
but I prefer a man who lives
and gives expensive jewels.
A kiss on the hand may be quite continental
but diamonds are a girl's best friend.
A kiss may be grand but it won't pay the rental
on your humble flat, or help you at the automat.
Men grow cold as girls grow old
and we all lose our charms in the end.
But square-cut or pear-shaped
these rocks don't lose their shape
Diamonds are a girl's best friend
...Tiffany's ... Cartier...
Talk to me, Harry, Winston,tell me all about it!
There may come a time when a lass needs a lawyer
but diamonds are a girl's best friend.
There may come a time when a hard-boiled employer
thinks you're awful nice
but get that ice or else no dice.
He's your guy when stocks are high
but beware when they start to descend,
It's then that those louses go back to their spouses
Diamonds are a girl's best friend.
I've heard of affairs that are strictly platonic
but diamonds are a girl's best friend,
and I think affairs that you must keep liaisonic
are better bets if little pets get big baggettes.
Time rolls on and youth is gone
and you can't straighten up when you bend
but stiff back or stiff knees
you stand straight at Tiffany's
Diamonds... Diamonds...
- I don't mean rhinestones -
but Diamonds, Are A Girl's Best Friends

19 posted on 02/08/2005 5:58:46 PM PST by Dallas59 (Bush said the "F" word 27 times January 20th, 2005!)
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To: wingblade

If you found one of those planers DeBeers would have you killed.


20 posted on 02/08/2005 7:02:24 PM PST by Mike Darancette (MESOCONS FOR RICE '08)
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To: G32

Hey now> Great Minds are always cool.


21 posted on 02/08/2005 10:34:14 PM PST by Captain Beyond (The Hammer of the gods! (Just a cool line from a Led Zep song))
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To: aruanan
They will make up some term like "blood diamonds" and have governments declare all diamonds but DeBEers' off-limits.

(DeBEers')These be ours' Good One!!!

22 posted on 02/08/2005 10:38:27 PM PST by Captain Beyond (The Hammer of the gods! (Just a cool line from a Led Zep song))
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To: Dallas59
It's funny to look at what used to be sexy.
23 posted on 02/09/2005 6:17:56 AM PST by aruanan
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please note, a 2005 topic.

"Three small bodies have been found in orbit around the pulsar PSR 1257+12. They have been designated "PSR1257+12 A, ..B, and ..C". One is about the size of the Moon, the other two are about 2 to 3 times the mass of Earth... These planets are believed to have formed after the supernova that produced the pulsar. The present planets would have originally been within the envelope of the progenitor star and therefore wouldn't have stood much chance of surviving the supernova explosion, and wouldn't have remained in circular orbits after the explosion."

http://www.nineplanets.org/other.html


24 posted on 03/16/2007 10:05:04 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (I last updated my profile on Sunday, March 11, 2007. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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X-Planets ping list
· join · view topics · view or post blog · bookmark · post new topic ·

25 posted on 03/16/2007 11:29:09 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (I last updated my profile on Sunday, March 11, 2007. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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