By Sarah Pouramn
Scientists have found new evidence that a distant planet with seas of molten graphite and continents made of diamonds actually exists! Scientists are calling this new planet '55 Cancri e'. It’s also said to be twice the size of Earth! Until now, planets were assumed to be just like Earth; carbon-poor and oxygen-rich, although new research shows that '55 Cancri e' is the opposite.
Astronomers first caught a glimpse of this planet late last year while it was transitioning the Sun. After using powerful telescopes, they were able to determine the planet’s weight and size. "People theorized this, but no one thought we would actually find it one day, and here we are, in 2012, we have it,” sats Nikku Madhusudhan, former student at Yale University’s Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics.
Some people are starting to think that we might be able to gain diamonds from this new planet, but we have to keep in mind that this planet is 2,100 degree Celsius and 40 light years away. It would take years to go to 55 Cancri e and back! Another fun fact about this planet is that it orbits the sun entirely in only 18 hours! That means, one year there would span a shorter amount of time than one day on Earth!
Stay tuned for more information as researchers investigate!