back to article World of diamonds bigger than the Ritz discovered

A curious world orbiting a star 1200 light years from our own solar system could be home to diamonds of enormous, unparalleled size, say boffins. The planet WASP-12b was discovered last year by a group of UK astronomers, the Wide Angle Search for Planets. Since then it has been probed intensively by NASA's Spitzer telescope in …

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Alien

Methane?

What mass is this planet in order to be able to hold onto an atmosphere whilst that close to it's parent!

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Boffin

It's big

WASP-12b is 1.4 times the mass of Jupiter.

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Start selling those De Beers shares now

That'll show the diamond cartel

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Bronze badge
FAIL

When will you be back?

At 100,000 MPH (about 3 x as fast as V__GER) it will take you about 8 million years to get there. 12,000 years after that we will hear the scream as you discover all the carbon is only a 2B not a 4H (too soft).

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Silver badge

Why would you want to own De Beers shares anyway...

The company's product is being withheld from the street so to create artificial demand.

This means that if there were to be a new find of diamonds, you could flood the street and the price of diamonds would drop, men would buy more, and wive/girlfriends would be happy and there would be world peace ...

(Ok that last bit is a stretch in logic, but somehow one can always tie in man's sexual needs in to aggression and quest for world domination.... [Keep the image of the South Park's Team America... 'I'm so wronely ... in your mind. :-P] )

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Don't

Even as we speak an invitation is on its way to the Waspians to join the cartel. If you've got diamonds De Beers will assimilate you.

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Pint

... but not as unparalleled as this ...

10 billion trillion trillion carats, 4000km across ... http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/3492919.stm

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Astromathematics, a primer

Astronomers have two ways of doing mathematics:

1) Declare that anything within the same order of magnitude equals anything else within the same order of magnitude.

2) Ignore half the tiny random variances in position and spectrum readings, add up the ones that go in the direction that gets them the most funding, and declare "ZOMG GAINT DIEMOND PLANIT!!!!ELEVEN!!"

Honestly, astronomers make cold fusion physicists look like the very soul of responsible practicality.

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Boffin

I resent that!

As an astrophysicist I have to point out that you're only telling half the story there.

We also have a constant that isn't and quite happily will accept as accurate any answer which seems feasible, or at least interesting.

Seriously, best science ever for people like me who don't quibble over little niggling details like a parsec here or a billion years there.

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The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

1) That is called an equivalence relation in MATHEMATICS

2) Computer Scientists use it all the time too!

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Silver badge

Unparalleled size?

What about BPM 37093?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BPM_37093

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Alert

Star Ships

The "Liz Taylor Intergalactic Express" is now departing, stand clear.

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Megaphone

BUY SUPER-DIAMOND SHARES NOW!!!!!

YOU TOO CAN INVEST IN THESE AMAZING EXTRATERRESTRIAL SUPER-DIAMONDS!!!

HUGE PROFITS GUARANTEED!!!

INVEST IN OUR COMPANY TODAY!!!

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Happy

Why just diamond?

What about huge buckyballs/fullerines?

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xyz

Err...how does that work then?

If methane has an auto-ignition temp of 580C and the planet has a daytime temp of 2590C and has a lot of methane, then how does that work or am I being dumb or am I reading scientific porkies?

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Silver badge

Needs oxygen

You can't ignite methane in the absence of free oxygen - just as well or most gas giants would be a ball of flame.

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Anonymous Coward

Less oxygen

I assume, that temp will be based on this planet's atmosphere.

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Paris Hilton

IANAScientist but...

I'd suspect that its something to do with the lack on oxygen maybe?

Just a guess, Paris, cos she might have more of a clue than me...

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FAIL

Chemistry Fail

Methane requires something to BURN with.. Like say oxygen. Methane does not burn if only in the presence of methane...

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Anonymous Coward

O'Really?

You should spend the day in my brother's flat.

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Pint

"the planet's year lasts just 26 of your Earth hours."

Is Mr. Page trying to tell us something? He's far too sharp to be one of us....

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Alert

The Star by sisters Ann and Jane Taylor

Twinkle, twinkle, little star,

How I wonder what you are!

Up above the world so high,

Like a diamond in the sky!

Twinkle, twinkle, little star,

How I wonder what you are!

When the blazing sun is gone,

When he nothing shines upon,

Then you show your little light,

Twinkle, twinkle, all the night.

Twinkle, twinkle, little star,

How I wonder what you are!

Spooky!

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Silver badge

or the astrophysicist's version:

Twinkle, twinkle, little star

I don't wonder what you are

You're a ball of white-hot gases

Fusing into solid masses

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Anonymous Coward

down with titles

"and the planet's year lasts just 26 of your Earth hours"

so his hours are different to ours? so the writer isnt from this planet? surely this is bigger news than massive diamonds?

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Anonymous Coward

Viz

There is a Viz cartoon - "My Dad's an Alien" or some such, of a family where the father, who looks like a normal British bloke, embarasses his family by collecting dog shit, claiming he's going to take to his native planet.

Later in the cartoon he does indeed fire himself off to the planet which is littered with diamonds, and the dog shit is revered there as diamonds are here.

So, my point is, erm, Viz predicted this. Although the canine fecal angle is rather missing I fear.

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One way ticket.

Because of the mass of the planet, would not the gravity be too strong for anyone landing there to ever leave?

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Coat

Hm...

So would this be the planetary equivalent to the Hotel California?

"You can take-off any time you want,

but you can't ever leave!"

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Happy

Obviously

The planet Midnight from Doctor Who.

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Thumb Up

*bang bang*

Who's there?

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Black Helicopters

I stake my claim!

Using the same lawyers of the woman who claims ownership of the sun* I stake my claim to this planet.

I am now in negotiations with SpaceX to fulfill my 3 years residency requirement to validate my claim

*http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/spain/8174180/Spanish-woman-claims-ownership-of-the-sun.html

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Happy

Sounds like the plot of a ScfFi story

Explorers lost in space, running out of supplies and fuel touch down a planet, all they find is diamonds and gold. All the wealth you could wish and no way home.

Would any Reg readers like to posit a precedent?

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Anonymous Coward

World of diamonds bigger than the Ritz discovered

US suspect weapons of mass destruction there and assemble team of astronauts to investigate

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+1 headline

Props for the F. Scott Fitzgerald reference

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re: Viz

I'm afraid that was pre-dated by Mork and Mindy, where Mork arrives on Earth bringing 'eggs' which contain the rarest and most valuable substance on Ork .... sand

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