Out of this world: huge diamond found

  1. http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/s1046708.htm

    Last Update: Tuesday, February 17, 2004. 11:48am (AEDT)

    Out of this world: huge diamond found

    Scientists believe they have discovered the largest diamond known to mankind - estimated at 10 billion trillion trillion carats.

    The problem for all those diamond-fanciers out there is that the gem in question is around 50 light years from Earth.

    Astronomers believe it is the super-compressed heart of an old star, which has burnt out and become a 1,500-kilometre wide lump of crystallised carbon.

    Its official name is BPM37093, but the Harvard Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics astronomers who discovered it have dubbed it 'Lucy', as in the Beatles lyric "Lucy in the sky with diamonds".

    Vince Forde, from Canberra's Mt Stromlo Observatory, says the giant diamond offers an insight into the life cycle of stars.

    "Actually, this would probably be the oldest stage of a star's life we've ever looked at, because once they go past that, and they are totally cool, not emitting any radiation at all, you can't see them," he said.

    He says Lucy's sheer size dwarfs the largest diamond found on Earth - a comparatively miniscule 3,100 carats.

    "You can see every female listener's eyes going into orbit as you give that carat figure," Mr Forde told ABC radio.

    And while Lucy's distance from Earth means a space race to secure her is unlikely, Mr Forde says Australia already has a good claim on the monster diamond.

    "This huge De Beers thing is sitting right down in the southern sky, in the constellation of Centaurus, just near the Southern Cross," he said.

    "All the good things seem to be in the south."

    -- Adapted from a report on AM

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  2. 5 Comments

  3. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Oh, gee THAT'S where my rock went! I can't wait to get it back
  4. by   nekhismom
    ME ME ME!!! I want it! NO, not really. I mean, who could CARRY that thing? I wouldn't mind seeing it in space, though. Need to find an observatory.
  5. by   live4today
    There isn't a man alive who could afford to give a woman a diamond the size of that! :chuckle Perhaps to an Alien the star isn't as big, so maybe I'll call on E.T. who has "gone home" to deliver it to my house.
  6. by   iliel
    Quote from LPN2Be2004
    Oh, gee THAT'S where my rock went! I can't wait to get it back
    Oh no you don't...I saw it first :chuckle
  7. by   manna
    Has anyone heard the news story (I heard it on NPR the other day) about how DeBeers is up in arms and training jewel inspectors to be on the lookout for these lab-manufactured diamonds?

    I'm not really a big diamond girl myself, seems like a lot of money for just a shiny rock (but maybe it's just because I've never gotten a nice one yet) LOL