Uncommon Knowledge: How brightly can a diamond shine?

If you get close enough, certain diamonds are so bright they can actually reduce you to cinders. That’s because the brightest (and also the largest) diamonds in the universe are actually stars. Stars have a natural life-cycle, and late in that process, after most of their fuel has been spent, they may become something called a white dwarf. White dwarf stars are incredibly dense, containing a mass similar to our sun in an area the size of the earth, and most of that core consists of compressed carbon atoms. It was theorized that eventually all that carbon would crystallize, but an actual diamond-filled star was not identified until 2004. The nearest space diamond, affectionately known as V886 Centauri, is estimated to be 4,000km across, making it 10 billion trillion trillion carats. Twinkle twinkle, indeed.

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Written by Nathan

Nathan is a copywriter, who helps create our product descriptions as well as our weekly emails. He is also a nationally award-winning musical theater writer, whose work includes an adaptation of Lois Lowry’s novel The Giver. Nathan has also been a classical violinist, tutored Kazakhstani jewelers in entrepreneurship, created large-scale games played across entire city blocks, served as a missionary in South Korea, conducted experiments in sonoluminescence, co-founded an exotic fruit-growing business, was a theater critic for Tucson Weekly, and as a teenager composed a women’s jazz quartet that is currently performed around the world.

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