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Space Science

Astronomers Find Diamond Star 4,000 km Wide 197

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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  • Re:Finally (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Jeremy Erwin ( 2054 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @10:31AM (#33573726) Journal

    On the contrary. I think this will blow the de Beers cartel wide open, assuming that a FTL mining vessel could be equipped.

  • Re:Finally (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AstroMatt ( 1594081 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @10:33AM (#33573758)
    Except white dwarf interiors will also have lots of oxygen atoms, and the lattice structure (BCC) is different from that of diamonds (interpenetrating FCC). And if you remove the self gravity the white dwarf matter would no longer be crystallized. And this story dates from 2004 - breaking news! Definitely slashdot-worthy ...
  • by Just_Say_Duhhh ( 1318603 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @10:53AM (#33574042)
    No, I don't think De Beers will be funding NASA. They may start blowing up any attempts to get into space. They might even want to take out the ISS (and as anyone who has seen Congo [] can tell you, with De Beers' massive diamond-powered lasers, the ISS is a sitting duck!) You see, they already have enough (should I say more than enough) diamonds. They just have to stop everyone else from getting access to diamonds, which would cause the price to fall.
  • Re:Finally (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Pharmboy ( 216950 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @11:22AM (#33574572) Journal

    So you bring back 10x more diamonds than exist on the planet to finance the trip. Only problem is, with supply up 1000%, the price will go down by two factors or more as there aren't enough uses to justify that much carbon. People will be using it instead of coal in power plants, or as a cheap gravel replacement for county roads, and there will still be too much.

    There is no 3. Profit! in this scenario.

  • From TFA: (Score:2, Insightful)

    by insnprsn ( 1202137 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @11:35AM (#33574774)
    Last Updated: Monday, 16 February 2004, 15:31 GMT

    My first thought reading the headline was, another one? Wait there's already a diamond star named Lucy.
  • by formfeed ( 703859 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @12:11PM (#33575402)
    While you all marvel about the size of this diamond, let's not forget this is an uncut diamond we're talking about.
  • Re:FIFTY-SIX (Score:5, Insightful)

    by numbski ( 515011 ) <`numbski' `at' `'> on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @12:11PM (#33575416) Homepage Journal

    We're splitting hairs. With the exception of the Sun, moon, and some VERY near planet/stars, every time we look up at the sky, we're looking a looooong way back into the past. Just about everything you see in the sky "happened" a long time ago. Part of the reason that SETI isn't likely to succeed. Not that it isn't a valiant effort, but anything we would "hear" would be from so long ago that the civilization we're hearing may not even exist anymore, and inversely, anyone that might "hear" our RF transmissions will not have heard them yet, and won't for a good time to come still, and when they do, they're going to "hear" Howdy Doody. Our society has evolved and advanced quit a bit since that point, and if they were to reply with similar tech hoping to communicate, we won't be receiving that transmission for quite some time past *that*.

    In short, our entire existence is so transient that, although it is great hubris to think we're alone, the end result is the same. We probably *are not* alone, but we'll very likely never meet any "others".

    This whole discussion always sets me back into depression, realizing how short and pointless our own existence is. We scramble around, trying to be the best amongst our own, and sadly the whole thing is no different that a bunch of ants scurrying around in a pile. The only difference is scale. We arrive, we're lucky to be here more than 60 years or so, and then we're gone. We don't get to keep any of it, we don't get anything. We exist to not exist anymore. The concept of life is really sad - you become cognizant of "self" only to realize that it is so temporary that well - anyway. Religion (in my case, Christianity) winds up speaking to this by saying in essence "you don't have to die". I struggle because believing that is to say that all of what I see above my head that happened so long ago - the one that made all of *that* somehow, someway, some*why*, inserted themselves into our existence to teach us some 2000 years ago (still, long after what we see above our heads happened), then allowed the collective "us" of a very small group of humans to murder him, and then revived three days later to pay for things the collective "we" had done wrong, so that "we" would no longer have to sacrifice the lives of other things in order to live past death.

    My analytical brain just about bursts at the conflict. I can only envision God as a creator of either the "multiverse" (string theory), or just "our" universe/reality - which makes us more like rats in a cage, and even then, the compartmentalization of my psyche which wants to have faith and follow my upbringing and "believe and be saved" while all the while learning all that I can while I'm here so it can all just go away anyway.

    The "human condition" is a term that gets used when you're young, and then it hits you what precisely it is. Let's not split hairs over time. On the scale of time we're dealing with, you and I are a single "tick" on that clock.

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

    by Beardo the Bearded ( 321478 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @12:36PM (#33575846)

    I'd like to recommend "Star Maker" by Olaf Stapledon. []

"I prefer the blunted cudgels of the followers of the Serpent God." -- Sean Doran the Younger