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Giant super-Earths made of diamond are possible: study

WASHINGTON (PTI): Some alien planets in the Earth's galaxy could be made of diamonds, a new study has suggested.

These potential giant terrestrial planets, whose insides could be up to 50 per cent diamond, are dubbed "carbon super-Earths" by scientists, according to the

A diamond planet would very likely be devoid of life and incapable of supporting living beings like us, scientists said.

"We think a diamond planet must be a very cold, dark place," Ohio State University Earth scientist Wendy Panero, leader of the study, said.

Diamonds are very good at transferring heat, so a carbon super-Earth's interior would quickly freeze as all its heat escaped.

Without strong heat in its core, like Earth has, a diamond planet would have no geothermal energy, which means it would lack plate tectonics, a magnetic field and an atmosphere all things thought to make Earth so hospitable to life.

Panero and her colleagues recreated the temperatures and pressures of Earth's lower-middle layer, called its mantle, to study how diamonds form there.

They used these results to build computer models simulating how minerals could form in alien planets with more carbon than our own.


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