You could live on a diamond

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You could live on a diamond

Postby vivian maxine on August 20th, 2015, 7:54 am 

Does anyone else follow Delancey Place? This morning I learned this. In the Milky Way, in a galaxy called Sergens Cauda, the largest diamond in the universe is a planet that orbits the pulsar PSR.

Just think, we could live on a diamond! We might go hungry but we'd shine.

Good morning, All
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Re: You could live on a diamond

Postby Watson on August 20th, 2015, 10:57 am 

Ya, but does it have a ring?
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Re: You could live on a diamond

Postby Darby on August 20th, 2015, 11:24 am 

I dont follow delancey place, but I read astrophysics for fun.

It would be incorrect to call that a planet ... instead, it is a stellar remnant. It is believed that extremy old white dwarf remnants that were unable to fuse beyond the carbon oxygen stage during their earlier lifetime on the main sequence chart will slowly cool down over billions of years, leaving behind what is essentially a largy very dirty diamond comparable in size to a large moon or small planet, and if it is orbiting a pulsar, it is technically a binary system.

- from my cellphone
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Re: You could live on a diamond

Postby vivian maxine on August 20th, 2015, 3:17 pm 

Thanks, Darby. Good to know that.
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Re: You could live on a diamond

Postby Darby on August 20th, 2015, 7:19 pm 

They're known to cool extremely slowly, over billion of years, so it's unlikely one could land on one and survive. I'd guess even the best case scenario of a truly ancient remnant would probably still be hot enough to melt lead.
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Re: You could live on a diamond

Postby vivian maxine on August 21st, 2015, 8:50 am 

Darby » August 20th, 2015, 6:19 pm wrote:They're known to cool extremely slowly, over billion of years, so it's unlikely one could land on one and survive. I'd guess even the best case scenario of a truly ancient remnant would probably still be hot enough to melt lead.


Maybe it's been there billions of years. I know what you mean, though. Right.

The largest one ever found on earth - much smaller no doubt - formed down deep where it is much hotter. Then it worked its way up - or the earth shoved it up - and it cooled.
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Re: You could live on a diamond

Postby Darby on August 21st, 2015, 9:11 am 

Some light additional reading from for those interested: White Dwarf (Wikipedia)

Excerpt:

Stars with low to medium mass

If the mass of a main-sequence star is between approximately 0.5 to 8 M☉, its core will become sufficiently hot to fuse helium into carbon and oxygen via the triple-alpha process, but it will never become sufficiently hot to fuse carbon into neon. Near the end of the period in which it undergoes fusion reactions, such a star will have a carbon-oxygen core which does not undergo fusion reactions, surrounded by an inner helium-burning shell and an outer hydrogen-burning shell. On the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram, it will be found on the asymptotic giant branch. It will then expel most of its outer material**, creating a planetary nebula, until only the carbon-oxygen core*** is left. This process is responsible for the carbon-oxygen white dwarfs which form the vast majority of observed white dwarfs.



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** During which the star temporarily balloons into a Red Giant for a few million(s) of years.

*** Under the high gravity and heat present, my understanding is that such a carbon-oxygen core would pressure-crystalize into what's in effect an extremely dirty (filled with impurities) pseudo-diamond. Contaminants higher on the periodic table would obviously represent matter that was accreted, whereas elements lower than carbon would be incompletely fused remnants that were not cast off during the nova process.
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