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10 Weirdest Headlines of 2011

3

Scientists Discover Diamond 'Planet'

An illustration of the diamond "planet" in orbit around pulsar J1719-1438.
An illustration of the diamond "planet" in orbit around pulsar J1719-1438.
Swinburne Astronomy Productions

As it turns out, there is indeed a diamond too large to make an appearance on "Pawn Stars" and too heavy to be cut and polished for a pendant necklace that will eventually fall into the hands of celebrity royals.

In August 2011, astronomers discovered a celestial body that's essentially a giant gemstone orbiting a nearby star. Scientists suspect the 'planet' is actually the remains of a star whose gasses fused, during its high-pressure, super-heated death, into crystallized carbon -- otherwise known as diamond. It also probably contains lesser amounts of oxygen near its surface. (Learn more about How a Supernova Works.)

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The diamond 'planet' is slightly larger than Jupiter, which measures 11 times larger than the diameter of the Earth, but is much, much more dense [source: Hirschler].

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