The year 2004 was an incredible year for astronomers discovering new planets and stars. One of these discoveries was of the planet BPM 37093 more affectionately known as “Lucy” located 50 light years from Earth in the constellation of Centaurus. It was nicknamed “Lucy” after the Beatles song ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’ due to its unique carbon density making its core a massive diamond.

 

It is a star that has died and has become what is known as a ‘white dwarf’. It is thought be a mass of crystallised carbon that weighs around 5 million trillion trillion pounds. In terms of diamond weight (the core of the star is essentially carbon that is similar in quality to the carbon found in diamonds) it would weigh 10 billion trillion trillion carats. So next time you are looking into Buying Diamond Rings Online from companies like https://www.comparethediamond.com/ the jewel you are looking at has the same sparkle as a dying star. It is thought to be 2,500 metres in diameter which means that it is around two-thirds of the size of Planet Earth but with a mass similar to that of the Sun.

When a star reverts to a white dwarf its core becomes exposed and it begins to cool down slowly. The stars core temperature drops to around 12,000 degrees Celsius – in comparison the Sun’s core temperature, as an active star, is around 15,000,000 degrees Celsius. At this stage the star begins to pulse a bit like a heart beat and similar to the seismic waves which occur inside the planet Earth. It was by measuring these pulses that astronomers found that Lucy’s core was in fact crystallised carbon.

Stars hold incredible meaning for humans. In the past we have worshipped them as deities, used them to navigate our way around the globe and studied them to understand the properties of our own Sun, Earth and the galaxy in which we live. On the planet Earth we are the dominate life form that has adapted our surroundings to suit us but in terms of our place in the universe we are just one small inhabitable planet surrounded by hundreds and thousands of other celestial bodies,

It is thought that most if not all of the stars, once they deplete their fuel source and revert to white dwarfs, will end their celestial life and remain forever as a diamond in the sky!