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finally an incentive for women..

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    finally an incentive for women..

    to join space program..


    Diamond Lucy in the sky

    Elizabeth Taylor eat your heart out.

    Scientists believe they have discovered the largest diamond known to mankind, estimated at around 10 billion trillion trillion carats.

    The problem is the gem in question is around 50 light years from Earth.

    Astronomers believe it is the super-compressed heart of an old star, which has burnt out and become a 1,500-kilometre-wide lump of crystallised carbon.

    Adapted from a report by Nick Grimm for AM

    Its official name is "BPM 37093" but in light of its status as the largest diamond ever discovered, the astronomers who spotted the cosmic gem decided something a tad more evocative was required.

    So the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics team settled on "Lucy", as in the Beatles song Lucy in the sky with diamonds.

    Vince Ford, from Canberra's Mount Stromlo Observatory, says the big diamond not only lights up the imagination of jewellery lovers.

    "This could be quite an interesting one just from the point of view of a life story of stars as well as the potential diamond mine," he said.

    "Actually, this would probably be the oldest stage of a star's life that we have ever looked at because of course once they go past that and are totally cool, not emitting any radiation at all, you can't see them."

    Trillions of carats

    The statistics on Lucy are impressive - it is estimated to be 10 billion trillion trillion carats.

    By comparison, those here on Earth are mere baubles.

    The biggest ever found here was a very modest 3,100 carats.

    Lucy, meanwhile, is 1,500 kilometres from end to end or an awful lot of engagement rings, necklaces and earrings.

    "You can see every female listener's eyes going into orbit as you give that carat figure," Mr Ford said.

    Lucy's sheer size might be dazzling but it is what is known in astronomer's parlance as a white dwarf, which is the left-over of a burnt-out star once much like our own sun.

    "What's happened is that it's hit the stage where it's run out of heat, it's left there as a big pile of cinders and metal," Mr Ford said.

    "Because of that high mass, the pressure in the core of it, just gravity pulling the star tighter and tighter, has compressed the core down to the stage where the carbon in it has actually crystallised and of course what you get when you crystallise carbon under high pressure is diamond.

    "So here you have it, the world's biggest artificial diamond, or the universe's I suspect."

    Light years away

    Lucy is probably well out of reach of most people - it is 50 light years from Earth for a start.

    While that might still be relatively close in astronomical terms, it is unlikely to spark a space race to claim possession just yet.

    But, as Mr Ford points out, Australia is already well-placed to claim it as our own.

    "This huge DeBeers thing is sitting right down in the southern sky in the constellation of Centaurus, just near the Southern Cross," he said.

    "All the good things seem to be in the south."

    source :

    They should send only female astronauts to get it.


      @ the title of the thread


        Originally posted by Najim:
        They should send only female astronauts to get it.
        not a bad idea.. cost effective too because it'll be a one way trip.. i dont think they would want men after getting this..