Posted Friday, Oct. 12, 2012, at 4:08 PM
Artist's rendering of the planet.
Astronomers have found a planet that gives new meaning to the word "bling."
Twice the size of Earth and eight times heavier, this weird world may be at least one-third pure diamond. Forty light years away, the newfound planet couldn't be more alien to ours. Although it orbits a sunlike star, 55 Cancri e has only an 18-hour year, and surface temperatures reach nearly 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Graphite and diamond—rather than granite and water—most likely cover its surface, challenging the assumption that all rocky planets out there are Earth-like. Everything from atmosphere to biology on these alien rocks may be far more diverse than currently imagined.
But before you start looking into venture capital for mining rights, you may want to reread your F. Scott Fitzgerald. A planet's worth of diamonds would render the shiny objects of desire more worthless than the author’s fictitious diamond mine that proved to be his characters' moral undoing.
A million rappers are so bummed.