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Diamond Planets Could Be Out There

13 Sep 2020, 21:31 UTC
Diamond Planets Could Be Out There
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

Ever since the first extrasolar planets were found in the mid-1990s, we’ve been fascinated by what they could be like. Of course, we hope to find rocky worlds. And, astronomers have found gas- and ice-giant worlds. But, how about diamond planets?

As a science fiction reader, I’ve “visited” many strange planets throughout the years. Heinlein wrote a story about Venus as a sloppy, hot, wet hellhole. He had people living and working there. The astronomer Carl Sagan and others thought that Jupiter’s clouds could possibly host strange life forms suited to the conditions there.

Weird Planets in Science Fiction

I remember reading with great fascination in Arthur C. Clarke’s Childhood’s End about one character’s exploration of worlds with high gravity, where aliens flitted about with wings. He also described another world that hosted a weird bit of life in the shape of a giant eye. It was pretty clear that the planets shaped the life forms.

That makes sense, once you understand how stars and planets form. Their birthplaces are giant clouds of dust and gas. The resulting objects orbiting the star are going to have the same “bulk composition” as their birth cloud. If the cloud is like ...

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