Solved: Cosmic Glow Caused by Diamond Dust

Rapidly spinning particles identified as nanodiamonds

Image Credits: CC0 Creative Commons / Pixabay.

Diamond dust is responsible for a mysterious glow emanating from certain regions of the Milky Way galaxy, a new study reports.

Astronomers have long known that some type of very small, rapidly spinning particle is throwing off this faint light, which is known as anomalous microwave emission (AME). But they couldn’t identify the exact culprit — until now.

In the new study, researchers used the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia and the Australia Telescope Compact Array to search for AME light in 14 newborn star systems across the Milky Way. They spotted the emissions in three of these systems, coming from the planet-forming disks of dust and gas swirling around the stars.

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