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Posted by on Oct 11, 2012 in Science |

55 Cancri e: diamond planet according to research by Yale

55 Cancri e: diamond planet according to research by Yale

On the odd occasion we spent a few minutes talking about studies published around the planet 55 Cancri e , an exoplanet located 41 light years from Earth with a mass similar to that of the planet Neptune and is under study by the Astronomers characterize the idea of the planet and verify if the environmental conditions are similar to those of the earth. One of the first studies pointed to the surface of the planet was covered with water and, months later, NASA made public the fact that, for the first time were able to capture light from the exoplanet . Now is the Yale University who has published a new study on and its characteristics, a study that turns the previous hypotheses (surface covered with water and a core of granite) and states that 55 Cancri e is covered graphite and diamond .

The Yale study , which was published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters, was conducted by Nikku Madhusudhan , a researcher at the University, along with Olivier Mousis the Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie of Toulouse (France) and in it the Researchers suggest that the Super-Earth 55 Cancri e is a planet of diamond .

This is our first glimpse of a rocky planet with a chemistry very different from Earth. [...] The surface of this planet is probably covered with graphite and diamond in place of water and granite

The thesis that the researchers say is very different from that, so far, astronomers were handling and, indeed, this new theory alienates 55 Cancri e of the thesis stating that it could be a possible “habitable planet” because it would one planet formed by rocks, without water and without atmosphere be at a temperature of about 1,650 degrees celsius. Based on this new thesis, 55 Cancri e would consist of carbon (as graphite and diamond as the chemical composition of both minerals is the same, carbon, and the only thing that changes is the crystallization system), iron carbide silicon and perhaps some silicates.

55 Cancri e: diamond planet according to research by Yale image 2

And how you can go from the theory of the planet covered by water to a planet full of diamonds? The key lies in the fact that NASA told us in May, when the Spitzer Space Telescope was able to detect light from this planet. From this fact, astronomers were able to measure for the first time the radius of the planet and by the mass data and the development of models to simulate different computer composition, researchers have been able to reach a model that combines compounds and elements that fit the data collected (pointing to the planet contained, in proportion, more carbon than oxygen).

55 Cancri e: diamond planet according to research by Yale image 3

If we consider that this super-Earth has a mass approximately equal to 4 times that of Earth, 75% of the mass of the planet (three times the mass of Earth) could be diamonds, a planet, as you said my friend Alan , pleasantly sorpenderia Emma Frost .

Images: NASA and Yale University

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