Astronomers may be as close as ever to discovering a planet suitable for life. Over the past couple of years, they have managed to find a sufficient number of "earth-like" planets, but many more worlds that are not at all similar to ours have been discovered. On some of them the conditions are the most hellish.
So what is an exoplanet? The most popular explanation is that it is a planet orbiting a sun-like star outside of our solar system.
We decided to present to you some of the most terrifying exoplanets discovered so far, which hardly any of you dreamed of being even for a moment.
Who wants to take radiation baths?
Exoplanets PSR B1257 + 12 B, C and D are among the first exoplanets discovered. And it just so happened that these are three of the strangest planets. The entire planetary system PSR B1257 + 12 is a graveyard, a remnant of what used to be a normal, functioning solar system. Its end came with a giant explosion of the central star.
The explosion was accompanied by the ejection of a significant mass of matter from the outer shell of the star, which led to the destruction of all living things (if anything at all) on these planets. From the planets themselves, only stony shells remained, which revolve around the "corpse" of the disappeared star.
The conditions for PSR B1257 + 12 B, C and D are quite exotic. Two of them have a mass similar to that of the Earth, and are very close to a pulsar, which makes a complete revolution around its axis in just 6, 22 milliseconds. The magnetic field of a neutron star is a source of intense radiation. In addition, the magnetic field accelerates elementary particles as an accelerator. The strongest rain of ions falls on the planets all the time. Such conditions would be deadly for any of us.
Wind, wind, you are mighty …
The sound of the howling wind is an integral part of any haunted house, but the weather conditions on exoplanet HD 189733 b make this place far more dangerous than any real haunted dwelling.
At first glance, this planet looks like a typical "hot Jupiter" - a gas giant located very close to the central star of the system. Due to its proximity to the parent star, the bright side of HD 189733 b maintains a temperature of about 930 ° C. Its rotation is synchronized with its orbital motion; therefore, HD 189733 b is always turned to the star on one side.
However, when astronomers measured the temperature on the dark side of the planet, they were shocked to find that it was several times colder than the light side (about 425 ° C). So what's the catch?
It's all about the wind. An incredibly fast, dangerous wind drives heat from the daytime side of the planet to the nighttime at a speed almost six times the speed of sound. Compared to it, even the most terrifying hurricane on Earth seems like a light sea breeze.
The tale of a newborn exoplanet and a scorching star
K2-33b is the youngest fully formed exoplanet ever discovered. Comparable in size to Neptune, this planet makes a complete revolution around its star in 5 Earth days. And since this planet is almost 10 times closer to its star than Mercury is to the Sun, it is impossibly hot.
No matter how much you love newborns, you would try to stay as far away from this “baby” as possible.
Lonely and very, very cold
While most of the discovered planets fit the description of the word "hellish", there are others to which this epithet does not apply in any way.
A striking example of this is the extremely cold exoplanet OGLE-2005-BLG-390L b. It orbits its parent star, a dim and cold red dwarf, in 10 Earth years. And this is still a journey! The average surface temperature of OGLE-2005-BLG-390L b is only 50 K. And this, as you might guess, is very, very cold.
Kepler-10b is a scorched world revolving around its star - an old yellow dwarf - in 0.84 Earth days, at a distance of about 1/20 of the radius of the orbit of Mercury. The planet has an extremely high surface temperature - more than 1300 ° C on the day side, and is the first open iron planet. The very high surface temperatures cause the planet's iron to be in a liquid state.