We have no idea what is beyond our known universe. Forget about that. We are not even totally aware of objects that are present within the known universe. Every now and then scientists/astronomers find something jaw-dropping. One such finding was the discovery of the exoplanet named ’55 Cancri e’. Now, discovery of a planet doesn’t really provide enough surprise to make our jaws drop. However, the 55 Cancri e really did have something unusual which made scientists dub it as ‘diamond planet’. Here the word ‘diamond’ literally means diamond as we known on Earth. So, 55 Cancri e was considered to be a planet made of diamonds. Whether it is true or not is a subject of intense debate but before we go into that part, let us learn 20 interesting diamond planet facts and find out some details about the exoplanet.
Interesting Diamond Planet Facts: 1-10
1. The planet 55 Cancri e was is located in the cancer constellation and sits at a distance of 40 light years from our Solar System.
2. This exoplanet is one of the 5 planets of the planetary system with the host star named 55 Cancri. It is also the innermost planet of the planetary system.
3. The planet has twice the diameter of Earth and is often referred to as super-Earth. It’s mass is eight times that of Earth.
4. Despite its massive size, the planet is the smallest about the 5-planet system. The planet is extremely close to its host star and makes one complete revolution around its star in just 18 hours (calculated according to time on Earth). This means, one year on 55 Cancri e is equivalent to 18 hours on Earth.
5. The planet’s surface facing the star has an extremely high temperature of 3,140 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature is enough to melt metals.
6. The planet was discovered in 2004 on August 20. Until 2010, scientists believed that the planet took 2.8 Earth days to orbit around its star but new calculations in 2010 revealed that it took only 18 hours.
7. As far as the characteristics of the planet are concerned, scientists initially believed that the 55 Cancri e was a small gas giant somewhat similar to Neptune.
8. Some other scientists believed that the planet could be large and rocky terrestrial planet.
9. Observations of 2010 revealed that both the exoplanet 55 Cancri e and its star 55 Cancri had more carbon than oxygen.
10. Scientists started hypothesizing that 1/3rd of the planet’s entire mass was made up of carbon.