A weird world of diamond; can it attract hordes like California Gold Rush?

Rush ladies, rush; before someone else or the lady next door gets there.The astronomers have discovered a new planet made of all diamond. The new planet is far denser than any other known so far and consists largely of carbon. Because it is so dense, scientists calculate the carbon must be crystalline, so a large part of this strange world will effectively be diamond. Lying 4,000 light years away, or around an eighth of the way toward the center of the Milky Way from the Earth, the planet is probably the remnant of a once-massive star that has lost its outer layers to the so-called pulsar star it orbits.

What impact will this new discovery have on the mankind who must have started feeling uncomfortable after hearing the news? If they had the necessary means, “the diamond rush” would already have started taking place but alas! the new planet is far away and there are no known means to reach there.

This reminds of the famous California Gold Rush (1848–1855) began on January 24, 1848, when gold was found by James W. Marshall at Sutter’s Mill in Coloma, California. The first to hear confirmed information of the gold rush were the people in Oregon, the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii), and Latin America, and they were the first to start flocking to the state in late 1848. All in all, the news of gold brought some 300,000 people to California from the rest of the United States and abroad. Of the 300,000, approximately half arrived by sea and half came overland on the California Trail and the Gila River trail.

The gold-seekers, called “forty-niners” (as a reference to 1849), often faced substantial hardships on the trip. While most of the newly arrived were Americans, the Gold Rush attracted tens of thousands from Latin America, Europe, Australia, and even China. At first, the prospectors retrieved the gold from streams and riverbeds using simple techniques, such as panning. More sophisticated methods of gold recovery were developed and later adopted around the world. At its peak, technological advances reached a point where significant financing was required, increasing the proportion of gold companies to individual miners. Gold worth tens of billions of today’s dollars was recovered, which led to great wealth for a few. However, many returned home with little more than they had started with.

The effects of the Gold Rush were substantial. San Francisco grew from a small settlement of about 200 residents in 1846 to a boomtown of about 36,000 by 1852. Roads, churches, schools and other towns were built throughout California. In 1849 a state constitution was written, a governor and legislature chosen and California became a state in 1850 as part of the Compromise of 1850.

New methods of transportation developed as steamships came into regular service. By 1869 railroads were built across the country from California to the eastern United States. Agriculture and ranching expanded throughout the state to meet the needs of the settlers. At the beginning of the Gold Rush, there was no law regarding property rights in the goldfields and a system of “staking claims” was developed. The Gold Rush also had negative effects: Native Americans were attacked and pushed off their lands and the mining has caused environmental harm. An estimated 100,000 California Indians died between 1848 and 1868 as a result of American immigration.

The physical coordinates of the planet do not suggest the possibility of steamship or railroad a la California Gold Rush. There is also no possibility of population surge and no possible danger to the lives of natives, if there are any. The measurements of the newly-discovered planet suggest the planet, which orbits its star every two hours and 10 minutes, has slightly more mass than Jupiter but is 20 times as dense. In addition to carbon, the new planet is also likely to contain oxygen, which may be more prevalent at the surface and is probably increasingly rare toward the carbon-rich center. Its high density suggests the lighter elements of hydrogen and helium, which are the main constituents of gas giants like Jupiter, are not present.

Just what this weird diamond world is actually like close up, however, is a mystery.

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Comments

  • mhe  On August 27, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    Diamonds are Women Best friend…

  • Khurram  On August 27, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    One of the consequences of West’s discovery of the New World and it’s immense unexploited riches was accelerating their dominance over Muslims. If they reach this diamond planet before we do, they will increase their lead by light years. But to reach a 4000 light years away planet will require bending space and time – something way beyond contemporary technology.

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