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Planet holds 3 Earth’s worth of diamonds

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A rocky planet twice the size of Earth appears to be made largely out of diamond, new research suggests.

Yale scientists say 55 Cancri e is an extremely hot planet with a surface of mostly graphite surrounding a thick layer of diamond, below which is a layer of silicon-based minerals and a molten iron core at the center. They estimate that at least a third of the planet’s mass—the equivalent of about three Earth masses—could be diamond.

“This is our first glimpse of a rocky world with a fundamentally different chemistry from Earth,” says lead researcher Nikku Madhusudhan. “The surface of this planet is likely covered in graphite and diamond rather than water and granite.”

Full story at Futurity.

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Photo credit: Haven Giguere

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