• Swineburn University of Technology in Melbourne

In a week where astronomy news includes the discovery of a new type of rock on the surface of Mars and reported plans for a Domino's on the moon, it's possible that the most important story has fallen by the wayside:

As Reuters reports, a new planet has been discovered very nearby in our galaxy—a mere 4,000 light years away—that is the size of Jupiter and speedily orbits around its tiny star every two and a half hours. Australian astronomers have determined that the planet is likely made of carbon, but is extremely dense, far denser than gaseous Jupiter. And we all know what happens to carbon when it becomes super-dense: it becomes a DIAMOND. In other words, there is a Jupiter-size diamond just hanging out in Earth's vicinity, a planet that is not only valuable in and of itself but no doubt will increase all of the properties in the neighborhood. (Earth, you just got blingier.) You can bet that when the intergalactic war breaks out, this planet will hang in the balance.

Since the diamond planet will no doubt cause centuries of struggle and war by greedy intergalactic profiteers and jewel collectors, let me just take a preemptive strike right now by making this statement, in a public forum: I heretofore claim Planet Neil Diamond II* and all its holdings. These words, stated as such on Blogtown, are legally binding. I do this not for any personal gain, but rather to prevent an otherwise inevitable age of war and famine that will no doubt result from others jockeying for ownership. (It is merely incidental that I subsequently now have sole possession of a Jupiter-sized diamond, and am therefore the richest and most powerful person in the universe. Ahem... ladies?)

* This is its name, deal with it.