Diamond stars

I'd really like to hear from James whether this is for real or kind of flaky.


DL Sly said...

Well, I'm not James, and I didn't stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night, but I do happen to have a little knowlegde about this subject.
Theoretically, it can happen given the right circumstances of planetary composition - in this case it would be high form, carbon - and it's proximity to a strong enough gravitational force to accomplish the task of compacting and pressurizing it. Completely possible in the black hole/white dwarf environments of space.
Now as to whether or not it's *real*, well, it's gonna take the Enterprise a few more "years" to get there to find out.

james said...

Yes, as DL says. I can't believe there wouldn't be a core of other stuff, and there'd be layers of cruft above it, but it isn't impossible that a cold dwarf might have a layer of diamond or some denser form of carbon. At least that's within the boundaries of theory.

Is this one? Maybe.

I'll try to followup on this when the tape robot gets fixed.

Texan99 said...

Carbon under high pressure I can imagine, and I suppose they can tell whether it's mostly carbon. But specifically a diamond crystal? That's where I kind of wonder if someone went off the rails.

Matt said...

Not sure about planet-sized, but I recall something like that playing a part in Arthur C. Clarke's 2001 series in the later books, apparently formed in Jupiter's core.

DL Sly said...

Actually, Tex, using the different spectrums of radiation, light, etc. that is used by Hubble and the other telescopes we really can tell, with relative assurance of accuracy, what planets and other stars are made of. And since we have both carbon and diamonds on Earth, those relative spectral measurements are well known to us.
Kinda cool stuff, really.

james said...

Though not in this case. They don't have any light from the dwarf star. They infer its presence from perturbations of the pulsar. Even if they did see some light, it would be from the surface, which will be covered with dust.