S. Dagnello, NRAO/AUI/NSF

Clouds of diamonds found around newborn stars

Scientists have discovered that the source of mysterious microwave radiation streaming across the galaxy is diamonds in the sky—or rather, diamond dust in orbit around three massive young stars, The Guardian reports. NASA’s Cosmic Background Explorer satellite first mapped the enigmatic spikes in energy in 1996. But when two astronomers found the same signatures coming from stars encircled by disks of rapidly spinning diamond dust, they had their answer, they report this week in Nature Astronomy. The vast clouds of submillimeter particles, whose origin is still unknown, produce streams of microwave energy thanks to the particles’ unevenly distributed electric charges. You could be forgiven for assuming that the ghost of John Lennon had something to do with it.

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