Biggest Diamond
January 1, 2008 9:52 AM   Subscribe

The biggest diamond in the world is insignificant, compared with the biggest diamond in the galaxy. Discovered in 2004, the Center For Astrophysics suggests that you should use the galactic one "to impress your favorite lady." Here's information about how diamonds are formed, and where they are found.
posted by Kirth Gerson (22 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Shhh. Don't tell Richard Branson.
posted by itchylick at 10:10 AM on January 1, 2008

Considering how easy it is to grow synthetic diamonds these days, it is a wonder the whole 'high priced' diamond jewelry industry hasn't collapsed. It is amazing how well the industry has managed to keep this sham going. It just shows how well organized and experienced the diamond cartels are.

The sooner it collapses, the better, though. There are just too many useful things you can do with diamonds. I can't wait till the day you can get diamonds in gumball machines.
posted by eye of newt at 10:33 AM on January 1, 2008

Damn, that's 2.5×10^33 carats!
posted by The Bridge on the River Kai Ryssdal at 10:51 AM on January 1, 2008

re: diamond industry

This month's issue of National Geographic has a full-page notice of a class action suit against DB (DeBeers) Investments, Inc. on page 163. I haven't a stake in the claim/settlement since I've long despised the industry and hype about diamonds and haven't purchased any. My diamond Dremel bits, on the other hand...
posted by bonobo at 10:54 AM on January 1, 2008

I was wondering what the Diamondstar DA40 was named for...
posted by dontoine at 11:26 AM on January 1, 2008

I first heard about diamond pipes in John McPhee's In Suspect Terrain, part of his Annals of the Former World geology books.
I had assumed diamonds were formed slowly, deep in the earth. It's amazing to think that they are shot out of the earth at high speed.
More info from the American Museum of Natural History exhibit.
posted by MtDewd at 12:03 PM on January 1, 2008

eye of newt - yeah, I too really wish that synthetic (industrial, don't care about the gem-trade) diamond production would take off, but... are the cartels really hindering that industry? I know that there are funeral homes that will take cremated ashes and synthesize diamonds from the carbon therein.

Oooh, practical, commercial application of the synthetic sapphire in a LCD - it'll withstand a (n albeit pretty pathetic) crossbow bolt.

Haven't some high-end watches come with synthetic sapphire faces for years now?

"Transparent aluminium" = synthetic sapphire (aluminum oxide (Al2O3)
posted by porpoise at 12:14 PM on January 1, 2008

Isn't there a huge diamond in Clarke's 2010 or 2061?
posted by smackfu at 12:21 PM on January 1, 2008

Gives a whole new meaning to twinkle twinkle little star.
posted by nickyskye at 12:52 PM on January 1, 2008

Yeah smackfu - the implosion of Jupiter crystalized the carbon in it's core and ejected giant mountains of diamond into orbit. One hit Europa.

But by then, they already had diamond-based space elevators, didn't they?
posted by porpoise at 1:02 PM on January 1, 2008

No, they didn't have them until 3001 - and they weren't just elevators, but gigantic tower structures built on the same principle as the "ribbon" type elevator. The idea is that they found other huge chunks of diamond floating around the solar system besides the one that hit Europa, and mined them for raw materials.

And actually, IIRC, in the book 2010, there's a sequence where the disembodied and modified consciousness of Dave Bowman/HAL flies into the core of Jupiter before it gets blasted, and sees that the very center core of Jupiter is a diamond about the size of Earth, which gives it/them a chuckle.
posted by zoogleplex at 1:29 PM on January 1, 2008

I gave my girlfriend that space diamond for new year's. But she has to go get it herself.
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:02 PM on January 1, 2008

See also: carbonado diamonds, thought to be extraterrestrial in origin.
posted by hattifattener at 3:13 PM on January 1, 2008

There's a sparkly Quicktime animation of the space diamond cutaway illustration here.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:14 PM on January 1, 2008 [1 favorite]

The halo around that diamond star looks like a hubcap (NOT T-REXIST)
posted by kcds at 5:59 PM on January 1, 2008

That's quite a bit bigger than the Ritz, I'd say.
posted by bashos_frog at 6:50 PM on January 1, 2008

carbonado diamonds

Thanks hattifattener, didn't know that term before. ET diamonds.

Little aside: 92% of the world's diamonds are cut and polished in Surat, India.
posted by nickyskye at 6:53 PM on January 1, 2008

Dammit, now I have T. Rex's Bang A Gong going through my head.

(Those of you old enough to remember the lyrics will understand.)
posted by AsYouKnow Bob at 11:09 PM on January 1, 2008

And dammit, kcds beat me to the T. Rex reference.
posted by AsYouKnow Bob at 11:11 PM on January 1, 2008

Well, I guess it's true what they've always said: white dwarf stars less than 60 light years away really are a girls best friend.

The world will be a better place when artificial sapphire is as common as glass. I want it for my laptop, watch, car, house, and sunglasses.
posted by quin at 7:18 AM on January 2, 2008

Yeah, you try pulling, "yeah, honey, in stead of the diamond ring I told you I was going to get you I got you the naming rights to this star. Wait, no, wait, the star has a diamond core larger than a planet. No, wait, honey, really... Well, no you can't exactly see the star with the naked eye but here's the super awesone chart that the observatory sent where someone with a massive radio-telescope can find it! And its name just for you, sweetie! Sweetie?"
posted by Pollomacho at 7:38 AM on January 2, 2008

That's in-contheev-able!
posted by mrducts at 7:09 PM on January 3, 2008

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