Astronomers have discovered a new planet that is claimed to be made of diamond. Being referred to also as super-Earth, 55 Canceri e is located close to the Earth’s Milky galaxy.
After careful analysis of its composition and mass content, experts insist that the planet comprises a number of important minerals mainly Carbon existing as diamond which is more than a third of the planet. Others are iron, silicon and carbide amongst others. Nikku Madhusudhan, from Yale University, who led the team of researchers, expressed surprise saying that this was the first sight of an outside body that has such a radical difference from Earth in terms of chemical composition. Instead of water and granite which are the common elements in planets, this one contains mostly Graphite and Diamond.
55 Cancri e is larger than the Earth both in weight and width. It is fast going around its orbit in less than a day compared to the earth which takes close to 365 days. It is hotter and clearly unsuitable for any habitation. Prior studies of the planet had claimed that it is covered with overflowing supercritical fluids in the assumption that it has a chemical composition identical to that of the Earth.
The recent findings however have disputed this. Indeed huge differences between the two have been established. It is amongst the five planets that go round the 55 Cancri, the sun like star situated far a way from the earth. Its unique thermal element and the tectonic plate movements are different from the earth and can be major sources of extra-ordinary transformations such a volcanism and movements.
Additional research however is to be conducted to ascertain the specific composition of the planet as well as study its atmosphere. Importantly though, research will be conducted to establish whether this planet is indeed made of diamond.