The universe is a bit 'more "rich" thanks to the discovery of the chemical composition of a planet located in a nearby constellation: it is made almost entirely of diamond.
This rocky planet, named 55 Cancri e, is large only twice the Earth but eight times the mass of our planet, characteristics which, according to a new study, making it a so-called "super Earth." This planet, observed for the first time in 2011 in front of its parent star, it takes only 18 hours to complete an orbit around its star. Consequently, the surface temperatures, which can reach 2150 ° C (conditions that make the planet uninhabitable) and carbon, create ideal conditions for the formation of diamonds.
NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has collected data on the orbital distance and mass of the planet, thanks to the resulting computer models, the researchers estimated the chemical composition of 55 Cancri e.
"Science fiction has made us dream planets diamond for many years, and it is amazing to finally have proof that there can be really," said Nikku Madhusudhan, a researcher at Yale University and head of the studio. "This is the first time you discover an extrasolar planet which originated mainly from carbon, this revolutionizes everything we have previously thought about the variety of the chemical composition of the planets."
The diamond planet is located relatively close to the Earth: it is located at a distance of 40 light years from Earth in the constellation of Cancer. When the sky is dark, the guest star 55 Cancri e is clearly visible to the naked eye.