Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds

Carat: 4,000km, Cut:Rough, Clarity:Poor, Colour:Black


Lucy, a black diamond in the sky

This diamond isn't ever going to be in a ring! Its 4,000km across and 50 light years away, and roughly above New Zealand! You can either call it BPM 37093 or Lucy, the latter being the name some witty astronomers conjured up for it after the famous Beatles song.

I myself used to work on European Space Agency projects writing satellite control centre software and managed to learn a tiny amount about astronomy in the process. Apparently the centre of this white dwarf has been determined to be a solidified carbon that is just like a diamond, based on the way it is pulsing.

Studying the pulses, in a manner similar to how a seismologist assess reflected pulses from structures under the ground, is how this was determined.

Luckily your job in choosing a diamond is considerably easier than the astronomers job. I wrote an article about selecting a diamond a little while back. However, I forgot to mention one thing that is quite important. You probably want to ask a few friends and family. It could be a disaster to get something she doesn't like!

Richard Prout is the CEO of

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