January 17, 2013

Carbon Planets Turn Earth's Chemistry on Its Head

John Matson, Scientific American


AP Photo

The study of exoplanets—worlds orbiting distant stars—is still in its early days. Yet already researchers have found hundreds of worlds with no nearby analogue: giants that could steamroll Jupiter; tiny pebbles broiling under stellar furnaces; puffy oddballs with the density of peat moss. Still other exoplanets might look familiar in broad-brush, only to reveal a topsy-turvy realm where rare substances are ordinary, and vice versa.

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TAGGED: Astronomy, Carbon (element), Exoplanet, Diamond

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