They are there, lurking in the vastness of space, alien planets even science could not explain. Planets so mesmerizingly odd that they will make you question the very reality of the cosmos. Planets where rain is iron, where ice is hot, crust made of diamond, and where you can feel the hell itself.
1995 — the year when Swiss astronomer, Michel Mayor, and his team made a routinely observation of the stars in the constellation Pegasus. A routinely observation that wobbled the entire scientific community. An observation that left us scratching our head in bewilderment.
Bellerophon, or more formally known as 51 Pegasi B, the planet Michel Mayor discovered, was the first exoplanet ever observed, rising in the blazing starlight at an average surface temperature of 1800° F. It is a gas giant similar to Jupiter, but is 150 times larger than the Earth and it revolves around its parent star in a BLISTERING 4.2 EARTH DAYS—that's a suicidal planet indeed. A windy atmosphere, yes, but the frightening fact about this planet is that the rain is not made of water. Instead, it is made of iron. But Bellerophon was just the beginning. Bellerophon was just the head start.
Today, thousands of exoplanets have been discovered and some of them exceed even the expectations of science fiction.
Brace yourselves as we go through the universe's most mysterious planetary children.
10. CoaLOSSAL WORLD
In the Graeco constellation, a hot Jupiter, known as TRES-2b or Kepler 1b, with a faint evil red glow, the darkest known exoplanet ever discovered can be found. Reflecting less than a percentage of light from its parent star, a surface darker than coal, and an air temperature as hot as lava — features that will make you scratch your head about the nature of TRES-2b.
9. Scorching Through Astronomy
Four hundred light years away from the Earth, there lies a planet roughly 1.2 the radius of the Earth. A planet that is once considered as an Earth-like planet, except if Earth is a blazing inferno. Kepler-78b revolves around its parent star at roughly 8 1/2 hours and is a hundred times closer to its parent star than the Earth is to the sun, thus having a scorching temperature of 5120°F — this is not global warming anymore. This is global frying. With this nearness to its parent star, scientists are baffled on the idea of its formation. More likely, when it was first forming, its parent star was even larger than it is today, making the idea that the planet was INSIDE its parent star during its formation. THIS IS CRAZY ASTRONOMY!
8. Heating It Now, Vanishing Later
A place broiled in planetary hell. A Hot Jupiter so close to its star that it is LITERALLY WASTING AWAY. This is HD 20948b, or also known as Osiris, a planet being evaporated by hydrogen, gases trailing thousands of mile behind it, and losing 550 000 tons of air EVERY SECOND. Because of these, the planet has been estimated to be extinguished from the entire universe in the near future.
7. Easy Money? Planetary!
It's a paradise to discover a planet twice the size of the earth and so bizarre and so wonderfully precious that it will be filling your pockets with money 385 quadrillion times more than Earth's entire GDP. Yes, this planet exist. It's called 55 Cancri E, or also known as Jenssen. A planet 40 light years away, and listen to this one, AND IS 1/3 DIAMOND. This theoretically happened due to the planet's atmosphere mostly being carbon and having a surface temperature on its tidally locked side of roughly 4000°F. It is now valued at 26.9 nonillion dollars. That's like 1 followed by 30 zeros. JENSSEN, HERE I COME!
6. Saturn On Steroids
A Super Saturn with over 30 circumplanetary rings about 640 times as vast as Saturn's ones — this is J1407b. An exoplanet 434 light years from Earth in the constellation Centaurus and having a radius of 88,513,920 km. It has been considered at the only known exoplanet with rings similar to Saturn. If we move this planet in the place Saturn today, it would dominate the sky and would seem many times larger than a full moon. Or does it? Well, we will see the rings but not the planet itself. This is a proof of the vastness of this planet's wondrous rings.
5. Anti-Newton Wanderstar
Gliese 436b is an icy exoplanet located 30 light years from Earth. This is a Neptune-sized planet with an average temperature reaching up to 822°F, yet it is surprisingly covered with ice. HOW IN THE WORLD CAN THAT POSSIBLY HAPPEN? Well, while the planet orbits its star at a distance 15 times closer than Mercury is to the sun, its gravity is so strong that it compresses the trace amounts of vapor in the planet's atmosphere into solid ice and prevents it from melting, no matter how much it burns.
4. Rubies and Sapphires Everywhere, How Could I Catch Them All with Fair?
Located in the Cygnus constellation, HAT-P-7b is hovering the vast ocean of stars. On the dark side of this alien world, high accumulation of corundum isfound in the atmosphere. These corundum are gems of rubies and sapphires. So one can describe the hypothetical weather on the planet's night side as 'raining rubies & sapphires'. The planet also suffers from ravishing extents of storms, so it’s likely that these gems are scattered planet-wide.
3. Rain, rain go away! Scorching Glass is On the Way
HD 189773b is an exoplanet slightly larger than Jupiter located about 62 light years away from Earth. A planet featuring deep, beautiful blue color from the mysterious atmosphere made up mostly of silicate materials. The wind's speed is reaching as high as 8,690 km/h. What is frightening about this planet is that it literally rains glass sideways along with unbearably tenacious winds.
2. The Mysterious Oldie
Since the start of civilization, we always look up and ask where did it all begin? How can we figure out the origin when the universe is so vast and so glorious? Then came PSR B1620-26b, or fittingly dubbed as Methuselah, from the oldest Biblical figure ever. This exoplanet is 12.7 billion years old—that's just about a billion years old after the Big Bang, which is straight up crazy. For this reason, it perplexes scientists on figuring out how this planet could form during a time where there is not enough sources for a planet to actually form, but there Methuselah is — upsetting the applecart of the entire knowledge of humanity.
1. The Hell Planet
A planet that was once a gas giant but gas vaporized, causing the solid core to be left. It is roughly 1.5 times the size of Earth, orbiting its planet just 20 hours, and what's more terrifying is it is called the HELL PLANET. Let's make this thing clear first. Planets have been discovered so vastly and so many that when you garner this distinction, it means you're the closest one to living hell. But after thousands of discoveries, COROT 7b stood out. The sunrise looks so intense and so ravaging due to the nearness of the planet to its parent star, which is as near as about 60 times closer to its star than we are to the sun. On its day side, this planet can reach 4,700°F, hot enough to melt and vaporize solid rocks. Even current theoretical models give the planet boiling oceans and lava. This planet is tidally locked into place with this fire-and-brimstone half always facing the sun, while the other half is bitter cold and can reach -392°F, hence why it is said to be two hells in one.
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