DIAMONDS IN THE SKY Alien lifeforms ‘evolved on priceless planet made of precious stone’

They are the diamonds which are much bigger than the Ritz and as valuable to scientists as they are to jewellers.

Astronomers have claimed early lifeforms may have evolved on mysterious worlds made entirely of carbon – the chemical which forms humanity’s most prized precious stone.

An artist’s impression of a carbon planet orbiting a distant sun
An artist’s impression of a carbon planet orbiting a distant sunCredit: NASA/SDO
These priceless planets are likely to have formed billions of years ago in the early universe and may have been incubators for ancient alien life.

“We have good reason to believe that alien life will be carbon-based, like life on Earth, so this also bodes well for the possibility of life in the early universe,” said Natalie Mashian of Harvard University.

In a paper published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical, she called on astronomers to begin looking for carbon planets in the hope of “shedding light on the question of how early planetary systems may have formed after the Big Bang”.

To find them, stargazers need to search for “carbon-enhanced metal-poor stars”, which are made of significantly less iron than our own sun.

“These stars are fossils from the young universe,” said Avi Loeb of the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics.”By studying them, we can look at how planets, and possibly life in the universe, got started.”

Credit: Getty Images
Sadly, it’s not likely that human travellers will manage to visit a diamond planet any time soon, despite the promise of untold riches to anyone who manages to get there.

The nearest diamond planet is thought to be 40 light years away and the epic journey would take humans more than 170,000 years to reach using current rocket technology.

You may also like...