Diamond planet discovered orbiting sun-like star

Diamond planet discovered orbiting sun-like star

Credit: NASA

A new study suggests that 55 Cancri e, a well-known "super-earth," may actually be composed of large quantities of graphite and diamond.

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by KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on October 11, 2012 at 9:51 AM

Astronomers say they have discovered a planet twice the size of Earth that is made mostly of diamond.

Planet “55 Cancri e” orbits a star similar to our sun 40 light years away in the constellation of Cancer, Reuters reports. It’s orbit is so fast, one year there lasts just 18 hours. The surface temperatures are estimated at 3,900 degrees Fahrenheit.

A study to be published in the journal Astrophysical Journal Letters finds that at least a third of the planet is believed to be made of diamond.

While it’s not the first diamond planet ever discovered, it is the first time one has been seen orbiting a sun-like star.

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