'Diamond Planet' Discovered, Worth $26.9 Nonillion!
Researchers have discovered a “Diamond Planet," 55 Cancri e, one of five planets orbiting the star 55 Cancri in the Cancer constellation 40 light years from Earth. This “Diamond Planet” is composed primarily of carbon, which takes the form of diamond and graphite, meaning as much as a third of the planet could be made up entirely of diamonds. Due to its elemental makeup, this “super-Earth,” as it is called, has a radius twice as large and a mass eight times that of our planet. This mass disparity can be explained by the fact that Earth has much less carbon, and much more oxygen, in comparison.
And while the idea of a Diamond Planet sounds appealing at first, think again. The latest research indicates the planet contains no water, and due to its proximity to its host star — 55 Cancri e orbits around its star in a mere 18 hours, a blink of an eye compared to Earth’s 365-day orbit — the surface of the planet reaches blistering temperatures of up to 3,900 degrees Fahrenheit. "Science fiction has dreamed of diamond planets for many years, so it's amazing that we finally have evidence of its existence in the real universe," lead researcher Nikku Madhusudhan, doing postdoctoral work at Yale University, told National Geographic.
Now that much of the hard work has been done, and Madhusudhan’s research is ready to be published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters, for those who want the nitty-gritty details, it’s time to have some fun with the concept. The Diamond Planet is estimated to be worth $26.9 nonillion (26.9 plus 30 zeros) which makes the Diamond Planet worth 384 quadrillion times as much as planet Earth’s GDP ($70 trillion), according to Forbes.
So for those seeking an end to the world's economic crisis, look no farther than the far reaches of outer space, where on a crystal-clear night you can just make out the host star of 55 Cancri e. Now all we need is a spaceship to get there. —Hal Sundt
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