Space the Oddest Frontier...

Space is rather large, when you come to think of it. So there's plenty of room for lots of weird stuff.

But the "diamond" planet isn't that strange - it is the core of a dead (well, murdered, in this case) star. Once the core of a star accumulates enough helium, it'll start forming carbon (and some oxygen) through the "triple alpha" process. For small stars, this can happen very quickly - the "helium flash". However, further fusion, "carbon burning" to form neon and sodium, with some more oxygen and a little magnesium (more is made but the majority is unstable), takes a much larger star - on the order of ten times more massive than the sun. For medium stars, the helium fusion continues in a shell around the carbon core and is suspected to result in the outer layers being thrown off - so just leaving the core behind.

So there are likely to be an awful lot of these stellar remnants floating around. Interesting that we've managed to spot one, though.

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