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Scientists discover planet made of diamond

In a galaxy not so far far away, the people of planet 55 Cancri e speak Blingon.

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Scientists believe they have found a planet made up almost entirely of diamond. (Jeff J Mitchell/AFP/Getty Images)

In a galaxy far far away, the people of a planet known as '55 Cancri e' speak Blingon. 

Scientists believe they have found a planet made up almost entirely of diamond.

Planet 55 Cancri e orbits a sun-like star in the constellation of Cancer. According to Reuters, it is moving so fast that a year there lasts a mere 18 hours. 

According to ScienceBlog, the planet is also twice the size of Earth, with daily temperatures reaching close to 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

Nikku Madhusudhan, the Yale researcher whose findings are due to be published in the journal Astrophysical Journal Letters, "This is our first glimpse of a rocky world with a fundamentally different chemistry from Earth. The surface of this planet is likely covered in graphite and diamond rather than water and granite.”

Madhusudhan further told Universe Today that the planet most likely has a very thin layer below the surface made up of the two substances. “But, below that there will be a thick layer (a third of the radius) with mostly diamond. For a large part the diamond will be like the diamond on Earth, except really, really pure."

Madhusudhan added that at greater depths, the diamond could also be in liquid form. 

David Spergel, an astronomer at Princeton University, told Reuters that the discovery of 55 Cancri e may be the first of many exciting planetary discoveries to come.

"Planets are much more complex. This 'diamond-rich super-Earth' is likely just one example of the rich sets of discoveries that await us as we begin to explore planets around nearby stars."

Sorry, diamond hunters: the planet is 40 light years, or 230 trillion miles, away from Earth. 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/science/121011/scientists-discover-planet-made-diamond