The largest diamond which was ever discovered isn’t on our planet, but it is far away across our galaxy. Lucy, or with its official name BMP 37093, was discovered in 2004. In fact, it is a star’s burned corpse, and it is just about 50 light years away from our planet in the sky region which we call the Centaurus constellation.
The space diamond Lucy
This white dwarf star is the chunk of carbon in a crystallized form which weighs about five million trillion trillion pounds. This equals to a diamond which as ten billion trillion trillion carats.
After its discovery in 2004, the astronomers nicknamed this diamond from space Lucy, after one song of the Beatles titled Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. Lucy, which is also called V*886 Cen and BPM 37093 and, is the number 886 variable star found in the Centaurus constellation.
In comparison to this one, the giant precious stones on our planet of this kind are the Great Star of Africa, which is 530-carat, and the Golden Jubilee Diamond, which is 545-carat.
The Great Star of Africa has been discovered during 1905, and it is placed in the Tower of London, forming part of the Crown Jewels of England. The Golden Jubilee Diamond has been discovered during 1985, and it is placed in the Royal Palace of Thailand, and it forms part of the crown jewels.
White dwarfs are hot cinders which are left behind right when the stars use up their nuclear dies and fuel. They are mostly made of oxygen and carbon, and then a thin helium gases and hydrogen layer surround them.
The diameter of the Sun is about 870,000 miles. Lucy has about 2.500 miles in diameter. Our Sun is about 109 or more times the Earth’s diameter. Lucy represents only 2/3 of the Earth’s size. That is too tiny for stars. But, the mass of Lucy is almost identical with the one of the Sun. We can say that that is considerable weight in such a small ball.
Although Lucy is now an entirely dead star, in the past it was shining like the Sun. Now, Lucy is quite dim, and it shines with just 1/2000th of the visual brightness of the Sun.
What does Lucy represent?
Lucy is definitely the hugest pulsating kind of white dwarf known right now. Just like some other dwarfs, this one is probably made mostly of oxygen and carbon which the helium nuclei’s past thermonuclear fusion creates.
Lucy also has a quite thin helium and hydrogen atmosphere. The Sun’s atmosphere is mostly helium and hydrogen.
According to astronomers, similarly, the Sun is going to deplete the nuclear fuel it posses, and die in about five or more billion years, becoming another white dwarf just like Lucy. After that, about two or more billion years later, this cinder Sun is going to become a diamond.
Since the period of the 1960s, some astronomers suspected that the white dwarfs’ interiors are going to be crystallized. Lucy appears to confirm this. In the death throws, a star’s core, such as the one of Lucy or the Sun will become exposed, and over time, it will slowly cool down. Such stars will start pulsating when the temperature on the surface will drop to almost 12,000 degrees.
Compared to this, the core temperature of the Sun currently is 27,000°F, which is 15,000°C. The temperature on its surface is 11,000°F or 6,000°C.
Lucy is pulsating like some giant gong. The internal pulsations of Lucy are just as seismic waves in the Earth’s inside. The astronomers measured these pulsations, in order to understand if the carbon interior of Lucy has been solidified or crystallized.
They also measured those pulsations which were hidden in the interior of Lucy in an identical way in which geologist utilize seismographs in order to measure the earthquakes in the Earth’s inside.
Lucy isn’t visible from our planet with a naked eye. It has to be viewed with the help of a telescope, and it can be best spotted from the Southern Hemisphere of the Earth during the period between March and June.
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Image Credit: Documentary Tube