Thursday, June 18, 2009

Lucy in the Sky with Diamond

Scientists found the largest diamond in the universe. Lucy, named after the Beatles’ song, is 2,500 miles across and weighing 5 million trillion trillion carats (34 zeros after the one, or 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 carats). OK, that’s a lot of diamond rings. This rock chunk is virtually crystallized carbon, measuring about 4,000 km in diameter, is approximately 50 light years from Earth in the Constellation Centaurus.

For sake of comparison, the largest cut gem in the world is the Cullinan I found in South Africa. This finished stone is 546 carats was cut from a 3,100 carat rough, which was the largest diamond found on Earth. Lucy, if mind and cut into wearable sizes, would deflate the gems market, making diamonds a dime a dozen.

Technically, Lucy is BPM 37093 and is a crystallized white dwarf. The carbon interior of this white dwarf has solidified, resulting in this galaxy’s largest diamond.

1 comment:

lostsentiments said...

WOW - that is so cool! :) I'm not too familiar with diamonds - but that's one HUGE shiny rock anyway you look at it! ;)