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The inner planets in our solar system are largely made of rock.
The inner planets in our solar system are largely made of rock, which are formed from silicon. But in a different solar system, with a different distribution of minerals, planets could be mostly formed from carbon instead. Inside these planets, where the heat and pressure are intense, this carbon would form layers of diamonds. Small versions of these planets fall to Earth all the time, in the form of carbonaceous chondrite meteorites, which contain different carbon compounds, such as carbides, organics and occasionally even diamonds.
Astronomers have known for a few years now that there's a direct connection between the size of a Galaxy and the supermassive black hole that lurks at its centre. Until recently, they haven't been sure why this relationship exists. A new computer simulation from the Max Planck Institute has shown that growing black holes release a blast of powerful energy that actually regulates the amount of star formation in the galaxy. The bigger the galaxy, the longer this takes to happen, so the black hole can become larger.
This photograph of Mimas, one of Saturn's moons, shows a head-on view of its largest crater Herschel - making it look like the Death star from the star Wars series of movies. Mimas is only 398 kilometers (247 miles), so the impact that formed this crater probably nearly destroyed the moon. Herschel is 130 kilometers wide (80 miles), and has a tall central peak similar to many craters on our own Moon. Cassini took this image on January 16, 2005 at a distance of only 213,000 kilometers (132,000 miles).
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