A Brief History
On February 13, 2004, astronomers discovered that a white dwarf star known as BPM37093 is actually the largest diamond yet discovered in the universe!
Digging deeper, we find our great gem in the constellation Centaurus, about 50 light years away.
White dwarf stars are now known to consist largely of crystallized carbon, which we know better as diamond! With a mass of 11 x 10 to the 29th power in U.S. pounds, the pulsating orb has been described as being 10 billion trillion trillion carats by the television show Modern Marvels (in a program about carbon), making it a bit more than the mass of our Sun.
If only we could send a spacecraft and mine the star as depicted in the John Wright novel Count to a Trillion. (Although in that book the object of the mining was anti-matter instead of diamonds.) At least the trip would pay for itself!
Of interest to Beatles fans, the star has been named Lucy after the Beatles song Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds!
Question for students (and subscribers): Do you own a any diamonds? Please let us know in the comments section below this article.
Your readership is much appreciated!
For more information, please see…
Clarke, Phil. Astronomy and Space (Usborne Fact Cards). Usborne, 2011.
Sung, James. Diamond Nanotechnology: Synthesis and Applications. Jenny Stanford Publishing, 2009.