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Space Science

Astronomers Find Diamond Star 4,000 km Wide 197

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the sharon-osborne-summoned dept.
tclas writes "The cosmic diamond is a chunk of crystallized 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.'"
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Astronomers Find Diamond Star 4,000 km Wide

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  • by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @10:08AM (#33574266) Homepage Journal

    The article is probably wrong. It's likely a reference to 2061, where they find that Mt. Zeus on Ganymede is a giant diamond. The message sent back to Earth is, "LUCY IS HERE".

  • by dpilot (134227) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @12:57PM (#33577454) Homepage Journal

    Not very likely - merely the largest diamond within 50 or so light years. How extensive a survey have we made looking for dead-star diamonds? We weren't even looking for this one, just trying to understand and explain its behavior. Likely the truly largest diamond - in the universe, not just the galaxy - will be found approaching Chandrasekhar's Limit.

  • Re:FIFTY-SIX (Score:3, Interesting)

    by pclminion (145572) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @06:30PM (#33581952)

    It's not the complicated. Suppose NASA spots a supernova in 2011... it's 2000 lightyears away. That means that star actually blew up when Jesus was still a teenager.

    The phrase "X actually happened at the same time as Y" is fundamentally incompatible with relativity. You unfortunately missed the point the GP was making.

    Consider on Earth, you are making a phone call to somebody on the other side of the world. It goes via satellite, so you have a second or two of latency between you. Would you say that "I'm not hearing what my friend is saying, I'm hearing what he said a second or two in the past?" Well, you might say that. You might find some alternative method of communicating that has a lesser latency (such as a land line, which ironically will get there faster than geosync satellite transmissions). In that case, yes, you could say that your friend was "in the past" because there is a way to reduce the latency.

    With light, it's different. You're just screwed. You just can never get there any faster. Thus, whether some seen event is "in the past" is irrelevant -- it's not like you could have seen it any sooner anyway.

    Relativity is about spacetime, not space and time. The idea that hugely distant events happened in the "past" is like saying there is an absolute time which permeates the universe. That's total nonsense.

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