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The Diamond Planet

Supposedly there’s a planet orbiting Pulsar J1719-1438 that’s made of crystalline carbon, i.e. diamond. Before you take out a second mortgage on your home to help finance your reservation on one of Virgin Galactic’s rockets, relax.

First off, it’s too far: 4,000 light years away. We still haven’t discovered any wormholes to the nether regions of the galaxy. It’s on our to-do list, but for now extra-solar travel is not in the cards.

Also, according to one expert at the University of Manchester, Ben Stappers, “I don’t imagine that a picture of a very shiny object is what we’re looking at here.”

Still, kind of fun to imagine a diamond planet somewhere populated by carbon crystal humanoids. I envision them wearing pressurized organo-molecular studs (rare and precious) in their ears to their planet’s equivalent of the Academy Awards.

Sue Lange


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