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article imageLargest Diamond Lucy Found in Space

By Chris V. Thangham     Dec 26, 2007 in Environment
U.S. astronomers have discovered the largest diamond in space, 50 light years away from Earth in the Constellation Centaurus. The diamond chunk belonging to a dead star is ten billion, trillion, trillion carats.
Travis Metcalfe from Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, the lead member of a team of researchers discovered the largest diamond in the galaxy. It is a chunk of rock made of mainly crystallized carbon, 4,000 kilometers in diameter.
Researchers believe the diamond is the leftover part of an extinct star. They are calling this space diamond Lucy as a tribute to the Beatles song, “Lucy In the Sky With Diamonds”.
The largest diamond ever found on Earth was in South Africa.
"The Cullinan Diamond, found by Frederick Wells, surface manager of the Premier Diamond Mining Company in Cullinan, Gauteng, South Africa, on January 26, 1905, is the largest rough gem-quality diamond ever found, at 3,106.75 carats (621.35 g). The stone was named after Sir Thomas Cullinan, the owner of the diamond mine."
The Cullinan I or “The Star of Africa” is the biggest piece of diamond cut from this main Cullinan diamond and is 546 carats. Here are the other cut pieces from the main diamond.The diamond is currently in the Crown Jewels of England.
Lucy, also known as BPM 37093, is a crystallized white dwarf. A white dwarf is the hot core of the star that is left over when the main fuel that drives the star runs out. The remains are mostly carbon coated with a thin layer of hydrogen and helium gases.
According to Metcalfe, the white dwarf is harmonious in nature and by measuring the pulsations, one can study the interior of the white dwarf. By studying the pulsations, they were able to determine the contents of the white dwarf and found them to be a biggest diamond chunk in the galaxy.
Our Sun will become a similar white dwarf in five billion years from now, and will turn into a diamond two billion years after its death, sparkling in the center of our solar system for a long time.
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