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Re: [thefixedstars] BBC E-mail: Diamond star thrills astronomers

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  • Mark Andrew Holmes
    ... http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/em/fr/-/2/hi/science/nature/3492919.stm ... Story reposted below. I m going to try and find zodiacal coordinates for this star,
    Message 1 of 2 , Dec 25, 2007
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      --- Mark Andrew Holmes <mahtezcatpoc@...> wrote:

      > Mark Andrew Holmes saw this story on the BBC News
      > website and thought you
      > should see it.
      >
      >
      >
      > ** Diamond star thrills astronomers **
      > Astronomers have discovered a diamond star - all 10
      > billion trillion trillion carats of it.
      > <
      >
      http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/em/fr/-/2/hi/science/nature/3492919.stm
      > >


      Story reposted below.

      I'm going to try and find zodiacal coordinates for
      this star, Lucy (BPM 37093).



      Mark A. Holmes


      Begin story.--



      Diamond star thrills astronomers

      Twinkling in the sky is a diamond star of 10 billion
      trillion trillion carats, astronomers have discovered.

      The cosmic diamond is a chunk of crystallised carbon,
      4,000 km across, some 50 light-years from the Earth in
      the constellation Centaurus.

      It's the compressed heart of an old star that was once
      bright like our Sun but has since faded and shrunk.

      Astronomers have decided to call the star "Lucy" after
      the Beatles song, Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.

      Twinkle twinkle

      "You would need a jeweller's loupe the size of the Sun
      to grade this diamond," says astronomer Travis
      Metcalfe, of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for
      Astrophysics, who led the team of researchers that
      discovered it.

      The diamond star completely outclasses the largest
      diamond on Earth, the 546-carat Golden Jubilee which
      was cut from a stone brought out of the Premier mine
      in South Africa.

      The huge cosmic diamond - technically known as BPM
      37093 - is actually a crystallised white dwarf. A
      white dwarf is the hot core of a star, left over after
      the star uses up its nuclear fuel and dies. It is made
      mostly of carbon.

      For more than four decades, astronomers have thought
      that the interiors of white dwarfs crystallised, but
      obtaining direct evidence became possible only
      recently.

      The white dwarf is not only radiant but also rings
      like a gigantic gong, undergoing constant pulsations.

      "By measuring those pulsations, we were able to study
      the hidden interior of the white dwarf, just like
      seismograph measurements of earthquakes allow
      geologists to study the interior of the Earth.

      "We figured out that the carbon interior of this white
      dwarf has solidified to form the galaxy's largest
      diamond," says Metcalfe.

      Astronomers expect our Sun will become a white dwarf
      when it dies 5 billion years from now. Some two
      billion years after that, the Sun's ember core will
      crystallise as well, leaving a giant diamond in the
      centre of the solar system.

      "Our Sun will become a diamond that truly is forever,"
      says Metcalfe.

      --End story.


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