Scientists have recently announced that a planet that was discovered in 2004, and that they began studying closely last year, is actually made of diamond…or at least partially. The planet, scientifically known as 55 Cancri e, actually is believed to have a graphic crust or surface, surrounding a thick layer of diamonds.
The planet is about twice the size of Earth but has tremendous mass, believed to be 8 times that of Earth. With a surface temperature of about 3,900 degrees and a carbon surface, it has conditions that are apparently near perfect for creation of the gemstones. It is believed that about one third of the planet may be made of diamonds.
Closeness to its host star and speed contribute to the planet completing an entire orbit in only 18 hours, making for a very short year. By comparison, the earth takes 365 days to complete an orbit around the sun. While on a clear night you can actually see the host star of the diamond planet, a trip would be extensive. The planet is 40 light years away. That means it would take 40 years traveling at the speed of light just to get there.
So the question becomes, what are all those diamonds worth? Well, even if it were possible to retrieve them, such a glut of diamonds introduced into the world’s marketplace would lower their price significantly. For the fun of it however, a Forbes Magazine writer used some sketchy assumptions and mathematics to come with a value. $26.9 nonillion. What’s a nonillion? You can read the article here.
More than the diamonds, scientists believe the real value in the discovery is the opportunity to learn more about the composition of other planets like 55 Cancri e. For the rest of us there is some fun in speculation.
Raymond Z for Raymond Lee Jewelers, premiere fine jewelry and luxury watch boutique and buyer.