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sol_g2v
2005-Feb-08, 08:49 AM
This (http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewpr.html?pid=16092) article talks about a theorized new class of terrestrial: carbon planets, possibly with layers of pure diamond and surfaces of crude oil.

Grand Vizier
2005-Feb-08, 09:02 AM
Wow. I've always thought we were a little conservative in the way we think about extrasolar planets (though I've seen pieces suggesting gaseous iron - or even silicate - atmospheres for some of those torch-orbiters.)

I've been wondering about iron planets myself. After all, if you peel off the crust and mantle, to some extent the Earth is one - and asteroid 16 Psyche is also thought to be a lump of iron/nickel 250km in diameter.

Padawan
2005-Feb-08, 09:54 AM
Very interesting article indeed! :D



Carbon planets could form in much the same way as do certain meteorites in our solar system, the carbonaceous chondrites," said Dr. Marc J. Kuchner of Princeton University, making the report in Aspen together with Dr. Sara Seager of the Carnegie Institute of Washington. "These meteorites contain large quantities of carbon compounds such as carbides, organics, and graphite, and even the occasional tiny diamond." Imagine such a meteorite the size of a planet, and you are picturing a carbon planet.


So, if these planets do exist, what kind of colours could you assume that they have? And what about surface reflectivity (is that albedo?)

Grand Vizier
2005-Feb-08, 10:30 AM
So, if these planets do exist, what kind of colours could you assume that they have? And what about surface reflectivity (is that albedo?)

Imagine the erosional possibilities of wind-driven diamond dust - they could be real smooth and shiny...

Kaptain K
2005-Feb-08, 02:15 PM
...asteroid 16 Psyche is also thought to be a lump of iron/nickel 250km in diameter.
Don't forget the asteroid that plowed into what is now Ontario, Canada, that is now one of the worlds largest nickel mines (and a major source of platinum group metals)!

eburacum45
2005-Feb-08, 02:58 PM
My imaginary planet Ribblehead (http://www.orionsarm.com/worlds/Ribblehead.html) is supposed to be mostly carbonaceous chondite, and originally had a dry Venus-like atmosphere.
But it seems I was too conservative; this proposed new class of planets has carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons in the atmosphere as well.

Something suggests to me that this is the sort of environment which might occasionally give rise to primitive life or at the very least, self-replicating molecules. I could be life, but not as we know it.

skrap1r0n
2005-Feb-08, 03:47 PM
This (http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewpr.html?pid=16092) article talks about a theorized new class of terrestrial: carbon planets, possibly with layers of pure diamond and surfaces of crude oil.

Wow! El Dorado and Shangri La had nothing on these

Padawan
2005-Feb-26, 12:11 PM
Well....

1. Would it be possible for life to exist on these carbon planets?

2. What kind albedo could such a carbon planet be expected to have?

3. What would the interior look like? Molten carbides?


I realize that we know little about these planets, but maybe someone could make an educated guess? :D

eburacum45
2005-Feb-26, 03:33 PM
1. Life without water? seems unlikely; but I would be very happy to be wrong.

2 Probably like a brownish Venus, with hydrocarbons instead of (or as well as) sulphur.

3 Lakes and seas of fluid tar and pitch perhaps, in a weathered surface otherwise similar to Venus. A very hot version of Titan.

Russ
2005-Feb-26, 09:08 PM
1. Life without water? seems unlikely; but I would be very happy to be wrong.

2 Probably like a brownish Venus, with hydrocarbons instead of (or as well as) sulphur.

3 Lakes and seas of fluid tar and pitch perhaps, in a weathered surface otherwise similar to Venus. A very hot version of Titan.

I think we could also expect an atmospheric O2 content approaching zero. "Today's Fire Hazard Level is: 10,000%" :lol:

Ilya
2005-Feb-26, 11:46 PM
1. Life without water? seems unlikely; but I would be very happy to be wrong.


Why shouldn't a carbon planet have water? Nobody expects it be PURE carbon (or even hydrocarbon) -- just much greater abundance of carbon and correspondingly less silicon.

Maddad
2005-Feb-27, 12:35 AM
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/3492919.stm
This is slightly off topic because it deals with an entire star, not just a planet. They think this former star is made of carbon, and compressed enough that it makes a diamond 4,000 kilometers in diameter. It's a solid diamond rather than just having layers of diamond in it.

Russ
2005-Feb-27, 01:15 AM
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/3492919.stm
This is slightly off topic because it deals with an entire star, not just a planet. They think this former star is made of carbon, and compressed enough that it makes a diamond 4,000 kilometers in diameter. It's a solid diamond rather than just having layers of diamond in it.

We sorta talked about this in this thread. (http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=19527&highlight=) The discussion was more along the lines of asteroid sized diamonds. Scrol down a bit. :)

eburacum45
2005-Mar-01, 07:49 AM
1. Life without water? seems unlikely; but I would be very happy to be wrong.


Why shouldn't a carbon planet have water? Nobody expects it be PURE carbon (or even hydrocarbon) -- just much greater abundance of carbon and correspondingly less silicon.

I am not sure;
from here-
http://www.universetoday.com/am/publish/diamond_worlds.html?1022005

The spectra of these planets should lack water, and instead reveal carbon monoxide, methane, and possibly long-chain carbon compounds synthesized photochemically in their atmospheres. The surfaces of carbon planets may be covered with a layer of long-chain carbon compounds--in other words, something like crude oil or tar.

I invented a carbon rich imaginary world (http://www.orionsarm.com/worlds/Ribblehead.html), myself, a while ago; in it's natural, pre-terraformed state it was very Venus-like, because of a runaway greenhouse effect. I suspect runaway greenhouse effects are fairly common among carbon-rich planets.

Glutomoto
2005-Mar-02, 06:56 AM
...asteroid 16 Psyche is also thought to be a lump of iron/nickel 250km in diameter.
Don't forget the asteroid that plowed into what is now Ontario, Canada, that is now one of the worlds largest nickel mines (and a major source of platinum group metals)!


WoW humans are already asteroid miners and don't even know it. :)