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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  1. Steve 13


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

    1. twelvebore

      It's big

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

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Start selling those De Beers shares now

    That'll show the diamond cartel

    1. Roger Greenwood

      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).

      1. Francis Boyle Silver badge


        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.

    2. Ian Michael Gumby

      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] )

  3. Bobby Omelette

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

    10 billion trillion trillion carats, 4000km across ...

  4. Rogerborg

    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.

    1. Thecowking

      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.

    2. I'm a programmer get me outa here

      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!

  5. Chris Miller

    Unparalleled size?

    What about BPM 37093?

  6. Winkypop Silver badge

    Star Ships

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

  7. Christoph





  8. Ian Stephenson

    Why just diamond?

    What about huge buckyballs/fullerines?

  9. xyz Silver badge 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?

    1. Chris Miller

      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.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Less oxygen

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

    3. Drem
      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...

    4. James 12

      Chemistry Fail

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

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


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

  10. Anonymous Coward

    "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....

  11. Anonymous Coward

    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!


    1. Chris Miller

      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

  12. Anonymous Coward
    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?

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    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.

  14. King Jack

    One way ticket.

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

    1. Daniel B.


      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!"

  15. Anonymous Coward


    The planet Midnight from Doctor Who.

    1. Veldan
      Thumb Up

      *bang bang*

      Who's there?

  16. Anonymous Coward
    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


  17. The Fuzzy Wotnot

    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?

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    World of diamonds bigger than the Ritz discovered

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

  19. This post has been deleted by its author

  20. ShaggyDoggy

    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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