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A Diamond Planet ~ The Largest Precious Stone in the Galaxy?

It's music to our ears.  There is  diamond rich planet, that astronomers are getting very excited about.  According to those that know, this new diamond planet orbits a nearby star.

This exciting new planet has been named 55 Cancri e.  It is twice the size of our planet but has eight times its mass which classifies it as the new 'super Earth'. It was first discovered in 2011 when it crossed in front of its parent star, orbiting the star in just 18 hours.  

Surface temperatures on 55 Cancri e reach an uninhabitable 2,150 degrees Celsius - which, along with the carbon deposits, make for perfect conditions in the creation of diamonds.

The planet is only 40 light-years away, in the northern constellation Cancer, sitting relatively relatively near Earth. 55 Cancri e's host star is clearly visible to the naked eye when the sky is dark enough.

"Science fiction has dreamed of diamond planets for many years, so it's amazing that we finally have evidence of its existence in the real universe," said study leader Nikku Madhusudhan, a postdoctoral researcher at Yale University. "It's the first time we know of such an exotic planet that we think was born mostly of carbon—which really makes this a fundamental game-changer in our understanding of what's possible in planetary chemistry."

Now if you're of plundering this planet in the New Year, think again. NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope is responsible for collecting data on the planet and seemingly only interested in the scientific response around the world. Shame!