Astronomers have discovered a white dwarf star–basically, the burnt-out remnant of a star–that basically consists of crystallized carbon. In other words, diamond. It’s a diamond the size of the earth. “Twinkle, twinkle little star. . . .”
Scientists have identified what is possibly the coldest white dwarf ever detected. In fact, this dim stellar corpse is so cold that its carbon has crystallized, effectively forming a diamond the size of Earth, astronomers said.
“It’s a really remarkable object,” study leader David Kaplan, a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, said in a statement from the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO). “These things should be out there, but because they are so dim they are very hard to find.” [10 Strangest Things in Space]
Kaplan and colleagues were able to find this cosmic gem because it has a more conspicuous companion. The white dwarf does an orbital tango with a pulsar, or a fast-spinning neutron star formed from a supernova explosion that sends out a stream of radio waves like a lighthouse beam. Dubbed PSR J2222-0137, the pulsar lies 900 light-years away from Earth near the constellation Aquarius, and it was first detected using the NRAO’s Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia.
This is a diamond star, not to be confused with the diamond planet.