ZURICH – European astronomers have discovered a new class of planets outside the solar system which contains high quantities of calcium, aluminum, and their oxides — including sapphire and ruby, Science Daily reported on December 24.
“Perhaps it shimmers red to blue like rubies and sapphires because these gemstones are aluminum oxides which are common on the exoplanet,” says Caroline Dorn, an astrophysicist at the Institute for Computational Science of the University of Zurich.
The giant terrestrial planet named ‘HD219134 b’ orbits its star in just three days. Its mass is five times that of Earth. Yet, it doesn’t have an iron core like our home planet, but it’s rich in calcium and aluminum.
These rocky planets have 10 to 20 percent lower densities than the Earth. They were formed out of the solid bodies leftover when the proto-planetary gas disc dispersed. These building blocks condensed out of the nebula gas as the disc cooled.
“Normally, these building blocks are formed in regions where rock-forming elements such as iron, magnesium, and silicon have condensed,” explains Dorn who is associated with the NCCR PlanetS.
The astrophysicist further clarified that “there, many elements are still in the gas phase and the planetary building blocks have a completely different composition”.
Researchers had previously assumed that the planet consisted largely of carbon, but had to abandon this theory on the basis of subsequent observations. They’re now assuming that these supposedly diamond planets contain sapphire cores and crusts.
Humanity keeps discovering the mysteries of the vast universe created by God and the Islamic Shari’ah backs this exploration process.
Allah Almighty tells us in the Holy Qur’an: “Have they not looked at the heaven above them – how We structured it and adorned it and [how] it has no rifts?” (Surat Qaf: 50:6).