The Geek Hideout
Lucy in the sky IS diamonds
Fifty light years — that’s about 300,000,000,000,000  (300 quadrillion) miles — away from Earth is Lucy, a former star whose  proverbial bulb has burned out.   And Lucy’s core has turned into a  diamond.  In this case, the diamond is huge — the largest in the  galaxy.  At 10 billion trillion trillion carats — 1 followed by 34  zeroes! — it’s, well, huge beyond imagination.  The largest terrestrial  diamond, the Golden Jubilee Diamond, is about 500 carats — a 5, followed by two lonely zeroes.
How’d this happen?
When a star consumes all of its fuel, it burns out,  leaving behind a white dwarf — a hot, crystallizing core.  For years,  scientists have believed that the core, made mostly of carbon, turns  into a diamond, but we have had no evidence supporting that thesis.   That all changed in 2004, when astronomers were able to use gong-like  pulsations emanating from Lucy to determine that its core was a really big diamond and developed the model pictured above.  [ The rest of the story]

Lucy in the sky IS diamonds

Fifty light years — that’s about 300,000,000,000,000 (300 quadrillion) miles — away from Earth is Lucy, a former star whose proverbial bulb has burned out.   And Lucy’s core has turned into a diamond.  In this case, the diamond is huge — the largest in the galaxy.  At 10 billion trillion trillion carats — 1 followed by 34 zeroes! — it’s, well, huge beyond imagination.  The largest terrestrial diamond, the Golden Jubilee Diamond, is about 500 carats — a 5, followed by two lonely zeroes.

How’d this happen?

When a star consumes all of its fuel, it burns out, leaving behind a white dwarf — a hot, crystallizing core.  For years, scientists have believed that the core, made mostly of carbon, turns into a diamond, but we have had no evidence supporting that thesis.  That all changed in 2004, when astronomers were able to use gong-like pulsations emanating from Lucy to determine that its core was a really big diamond and developed the model pictured above.  [ The rest of the story]

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