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  • Writer's pictureSiheli Siyathra

Fascinating Planets

Updated: Aug 19, 2021

TrEs 2b is a planet where night never ends. And it’s not the usual, pleasant and peaceful night. It’s pitch black and scorching hot on this planet. TrEs 2b is a Gas Giant, roughly 1.5 times the size of Jupiter. Its surface absorbs light better than charcoal, and it has a red glow because of its scorching air.

In the star system of 55 Cancri, there are 5 planets. Four of them are Gas Giants. But the one closest to the sun, 55 Cancri E, differs from the others most horribly. It is so close to the sun that its surface is literally an ocean of lava. The other side, the one facing away from the star, is pitch black. And, between the scorching and darkness, there is the Twilight Zone. A thin strip of gloomy… nothingness.

HD 189733 b is the only exoplanet in its orbit. At first glance, it may seem innocent. Blue and white swirls making patterns on the surface. But this planet’s atmosphere is full of hard Silicate particles. Which means it rains glass here. The worst thing is, the winds on this planet blow 20 times faster than Earth’s fastest wind. Due to this incredible speed, the glass rains travel horizontally, shredding everything in its path.

In the star system PSR B1257 + 12, there are 3 planets, all of which are being destroyed by their own star. This is because this star is not regular. It’s a Pulsar: a boiling core that remains after the death of a star. It gives out electromagnetic pulses while rotating at a speed of several thousand turns per second. As a result, the planets orbiting the Pulsar are being eaten away slowly.

Kepler 70 is a blue dwarf star that recently exploded into a red giant. It is being orbited by at least two planets. Kepler 70b is the closest to the star. At one point, the overgrown star consumed this planet and spat it out again. The red giant transformed the planet into a scorching, rocky world. The planet is lucky to survive, but it is slowly evaporating from the heat.

WASP 12b is one of the saddest planets out there. Its star has enormous gravity. The gravity, combined with the gas in the planet, results in the star slowly devouring the planet. WASP 12b has already taken the shape of an egg. In another 10 million years, it would be completely sucked into the star.

If you ever wondered what it’s like to walk on ice and hot coals at the same time, Gliese 436 - b can give a vivid example. Being extremely close to the sun, this planet has temperatures hotter than a blazing oven. And yet, it is covered in ice which burns. The ice on this planet is much denser than ice on Earth, allowing it to stand extreme temperatures.

Venus is Earth’s evil twin. Why evil? Venus has an atmosphere so thick and is covered in so many clouds that it is much hotter than Mercury. Volcanic eruptions occur regularly on Venus. The planet’s gravity is at least 100 times stronger than ours. And those clouds are not made of water. They are made of Sulfuric Acid. The clouds condense and rain down, adding to the inferno. And the winds on Venus are as strong as hurricanes on Earth!

OGLE-2005-BLG-390Lb is an extremely cold planet. Although its star isn’t far away, it’s a white dwarf, whose light barely reaches the planet. The temperatures out there can be as low as -223 degrees Celsius. Thus, the planet is dark, gloomy, and covered in eternal ice. Brrrr…

Dimidium is located roughly 50 light-years away from our Solar System. It is tidally locked to its sun, which means one side always faces the star. The hot side is heated up to 980 degrees Celsius and is blown over with winds that reach up to 1000 km/h. Dimidium contains a lot of iron. It melts and evaporates, creating clouds. Which means there are rains of molten iron on this planet.

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