Meet lucy, the cosmic DIAMOND
To help customers understand the heat and pressure required to create a diamond, consider “Lucy,” a white dwarf star only 5.87 trillion miles, or 50 light years, from earth. That may seem like a great distance, but in terms of the universe, Lucy is actually quite close. After all, she’s in our galaxy.
Discovered in 2004, astronomers playfully named her after the Beatles song “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,” and you have to admit that “Lucy” is easier to remember than BPM 37093, her technical tag.
So what is Lucy? She began as a blazing star like our sun with a core temperature of approximately 27,000,000°F. She couldn’t stop shining and over billions of years, she burned herself out. The result? She’s 5 million trillion trillion pounds of pure crystalized carbon or, from a jewelers perspective, a 10 billion trillion trillion carat diamond. Lucy is a cosmic diamond, and for now, at least, the largest in our galaxy.
- Astrophysicists say it would take a loupe the size of the sun to grade Lucy.
- Her surface temperature now is only 12,000°F.
Lucy’s Earthly Counterparts
Earth’s diamonds are smaller — just a little — but their formation requires several billion years of intense heat and pressure. This is only available 100 miles below earth’s surface. There, the carbon molecules bond equally in all directions to create the hardest substance on earth.
This is all very impressive, but that’s not why we love them. We love them for their sheer beauty, extraordinary clarity, and for their fire embodying those vast years of heat and pressure. We love them because they sparkle and astonish.