Cruising through the Milky Way in your reconnaissance craft, your sensors pick up a powerful radio beacon. Altering your course to take a closer look, you find not a ship in distress, but an ultradense sphere of neutrons, packing a sun’s worth of mass into something the size of a city.
Object type: Exoplanet
Mass: Equal to Jupiter
This dead remnant of a star glows red like a hot ember, and is spinning 173 times per second, emitting powerful radio beams that sweep across the sky as it rotates. While such pulsars are striking, they are nothing out of the ordinary, so you are about to resume your original course when your eye catches something sparkling near the dim red glow.
A closer look reveals it to be an orb with the mass of Jupiter and about half as wide.
Sensors indicate it’s made of – wait, this can’t be right – diamond! Your instruments don’t lie. You’ve just stumbled upon a 1031-carat diamond.
Fanciful as it may sound, a team led by Matthew Bailes of Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia may have made a similar discovery – via telescope, not a starship.
Click on the link to read the complete New Scientist article: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn20832-astrophile-the-diamond-as-big-as-a-planet.html