ASTROPHYSICAL JOURNAL LETTERS, REUTERS
Researchers from France and the United States have discovered a planet twice the size of the Earth, but far denser, which appears to be one-third constituted of diamond, Reuters reported Thursday.
Yale researcher Nikku Madhusudhan and Olivier Mousis of the Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planetologie in Toulouse, France, will publish a joint report in an upcoming issue of Astrophysical Journal Letters, a peer-reviewed astronomy journal.
According to the researchers, the planet, 55 Cancri e, is 40 light-years from Earth in the Cancer constellation. “The surface of this planet is likely covered in graphite and diamond rather than water and granite,” Madhusudhan told Reuters, adding that the discovery showed that other planets could have atmospheres and chemical constituents very different from those on Earth.