Meet PSR J1719-1438 b — The Diamond Planet

You might want to dump those De Beers shares. Scientists have discovered a plant that may be basically a giant diamond. The planet circles around pulsar J1719-1438. Sure, it is 4,000 light years away, but isn’t she worth it?

PSR J1719 -1438 was observed in 2009 by a team headed by Matthew Bailes of Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia, but the discovery was just publicly released in an article journal Science on August 25, 2011

We need to come up with a better name that PSR J1719-1438 b. Any suggestions? “Lucy” after the Beatles song? We will have to look for the tangerine trees and marmalade skies and, of course, the cellophane flowers of yellow and green.

The planet has a exceptionally high density and consists of mainly carbon. Scientists speculate that the result of the density is that the carbon is crystalline – making much of the planet diamond.

When I told the kids last night about the planet, one observed that it would probably mean that Earth rocks would be hugely valuable and sought after by the Diamondites — our name for the denizens on the planet.

Not much else is known about the planet except that it orbits its star every two hours and 10 minutes and has slightly more mass than Jupiter but is 20 times as dense. It may also have oxygen in its atmosphere.

We have however put our leading expert on the case . . .

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 shape these rocks don’t lose their shape
Diamonds are a girl’s best friend

19 thoughts on “Meet PSR J1719-1438 b — The Diamond Planet”

  1. I’m only in 7th grade, and even this is interesting to me. I’m doing a powerpoint on it. don’t name it lucy…thats lame….name it something unique.

  2. The planet is 5 times bigger than earth, but orbits something only 12 miles in diameter?? A penny for your thoughts

  3. This is not the form of diamond crystal you are used to. Real diamonds are not this dense. This requires “diamond” to be crushed to such a small volume that its ground states would possess more energy than what are normally unoccupied states in a real diamond crystal. Besides classically varying quantities like density and pressure, this would change many physical characteristics of any crystal, e.g. opacity.

  4. This is a story about space, or more accurately the dream of space, with a more Earthly bent. Out of Africa comes Chris Nsamba, founder of the African Space Research Programme. His dream? To take a Ugandan cosmonaut into orbit with an African built space shuttle. Although short of funds and facilities, their first prototype aircraft currently being hand built in Chris’ back yard, it might be tempting to dismiss the man as dreamer, but it is surely foolish to dismiss the dream itself. In the words of Robert Browning (as the story notes), “Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp, or what’s a heaven for?” For some, space calls to us. Just so, as that call reaches across Earthly boundaries and borders, so does the dream to answer that irresistible calling. Best of luck, Mr. Nsamba.

  5. I wonder what the karats are for a planet size rock? However I wanna hunk of the emerald planet, please.
    As for the song the lyrics will have to be changed to Lucy in the sky IS diamond.

  6. OS,

    Roger that…

    Gene H.,

    After I eat chocolate…They can have all of the Natural Gas they wish….or not….

  7. Gene,

    Appropriately enough, I just finished Aurthur C Clarke’s “The Star.” Which is a brilliant short story if you haven’t read it.

    It put me in a mood to go through my favorite “religion meets aliens” stories, A Case of Conscience by Blish and Jay Lakes gem Death of a Starship.

  8. And if you find an SUV in the attic, be sure to check the walls too. If you turn out the lights, they may come out and forage for gas.

  9. Gene H.,

    You mean I can’t use a telescope?

    I heard a crash last night…everything is still up tight…still trying to find the source of disturbance….

  10. That star is 4,000 light years away. A star 50 light years away would take about a million years to reach with our current level of technology. The diamonds are safe Zsa Zsa.

    They also discovered strata on Vesta, which tells a revolutionary tale.

  11. Don’t tell Cheney of Bush….They Might take it as the new OIL and decide the Beatles were correct…..Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds….is something they should try….Then again….maybe the have already done that…

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