Mind-blowing Exo-Planets in the Universe !

Mind-blowing Exo | Planets in the Universe | 15th July 2022 | Virtual Wire


CFBDSIR 2144-0403


Also known as C21, the planet was discovered in 2012 by Jean Phillipe Delorme and his team of astronomers. The planet was seen 130 light-years from Earth. This isn’t a regular planet you see often it is in fact a rogue planet. Rogue planets are planets which have been removed from their star system, either displaced by other planets in the system or taken away by the gravity of another passing star. They also happen to be very dark and hence difficult to find. Its speculative mass is 5-9 times that of Jupiter. The interesting thing about the planet is although its aimlessly floating around in space at the moment the planet has been observed to be hot, very hot. So much that it radiates heat into space and glows in infrared light. It will do so till it cools down which will take millions of years.

Usually, planets with no stars aren’t supposed to be anywhere near such temperatures. Another ongoing debate for scientists is whether this is actually a planet or a star. It is a massive planet yes but if a celestial object weighs less than 13 Jupiter it should be classified as a planet. The only thing holding this back a bit is its high temperature, rogue planets shouldn’t be having such temperatures in them. It seems to be influenced by the AB Doradus moving group which is a cluster of stars. A plausible hypothesis for the heat of the planet can be it was from AB moving group and is a young planet. But later studies lead scientists to believe that along with the distance from other objects and other factors the planet is more than 500 million years old. Planets can only be formed in a star system and if this planet was from a star system it should’ve cooled off by now. CFBDSIR 2144-0403 is certainly not amongst the most extreme planets but it makes us question our beliefs and challenge our knowledge as we still don’t know how such an anomaly came to be.

TrES 2-b


This gas giant was discovered in 2006 and is 1.49 times larger than Jupiter. It is considered to be the darkest planet ever discovered, more so than rogue planets. For instance, it is much better at absorbing light than coal. If you were to enter its atmosphere it will be pitch black. The only light that emanates is from its burning atmosphere. The air is hotter than lava itself. This gives off a slight red hue.

HD 80606 b


Discovered in 2001 this gas giant has a mass 4.38 times that of Jupiter. The planet has extreme weather changes that are truly horrifying. The planet can go from 527˚ Celsius to 1,227˚ Celsius. Although this only occurs once in its 111-day year it’s enough to leave a lasting effect and throw all balance out the window. Such rapid changes in temperature also lead to unbelievably harsh winds. Windspeed is said to be around 17,700 km/h. These winds then carry the heat all over the planet.

HD 189733 b


Similar to HD 80606 b the planet is victim to unimaginable wind currents. 7 times the speed of sound in fact i.e., 2 km/second. After the previous planet, this may not sound that impressive. Ok, the winds could tear anything apart but it's not as hot as the other. Well, how about the wind causes a rain of not water but molten glass constantly. On top of that, the strong winds will make the molten glass travel sideways. Usually, when we see a blue planet, we expect a planet with large quantities of some liquid. But in this case, it's because of the rain of glass

55 Cancri E


It is one of the few tidally locked planets we know of. It means only a single side of the planet always faces to its star which is called Copernicus, while the other side has never seen a direct ray of sunlight. Similar to how only one side of our moon faces Earth while the other side has been deemed the dark side of the moon. 55 Cancri E is the first star in its solar system and thus closest to Copernicus. This also causes the side facing Copernicus to be extremely hot. The rocks there have melted and turned into lava. The planet is also referred to as ‘Jansen’ and was discovered in 2004. Located only 41 light-years super-Earth from Earth the planet is classified as a “Super Earth” type planet. Being close to its star it revolves at an amazing speed of just 0.7 Earth days. If you were to land on its surface you would be treated with a sparkling sky. Its atmosphere is rich in silicate which has condensed into clouds. These clouds reflect the light from the lava below and cause a sparkling effect.

Gliese 436- b


light-years Neptune-sized this planet was discovered in 2004. Its located 33 light years from earth and has a mass equivalent to 22.1 Earths. It is also known as GJ 436 b. This is the planet of burning ice. Orbiting the red dwarf Gliese 436 the planet is very close to its star and it takes just over 2 Earth days to make a full revolution. Naturally being so close makes the planet have a temperature of 526˚ C, so it would mean most liquid should evaporate. Partially it does in GJ 436 b. It has also been observed that the planet leaves a massive trail of hydrogen as it orbits. The trail comes from its evaporated atmosphere. Scientists also state that the planet has 7,000 times less methane than a planet of its size and type. Methane also happens to be among the most common gas in our own solar system. Even with this lack of methane,, the planet exhibits unnaturally large quantities of Carbon Monoxide which can’t stay present in temperatures that high. On top of all this the planet has burning ice. Scientists have found an answer for this ice. The ice is located on top of its rocky core which has exorbitantly high gravity. Gravitational force alone pressures the vapour to stay compact and solid. If you were to touch this ice human skin would instantly melt.

J1407 b


Discovered in 2012 this planet is 460 light years away. Which is a big shame considering if there was one planet humans would like to visit and marvel at this ‘super-Saturn’ would be a very strong competitor. Saturn happens to be the only planet in the solar system with an extensive ring system around it. Saturn’s rings extend to 2,82,00 kms. J1407b is 10 times bigger than Jupiter with a ring system of 89 million km. To better appreciate this unfathomable number let me tell you the distance between Earth and to Sun is 148 million km. So, yes, the rings of this ‘super-Saturn’ are more than half of the distance between Earth and the Sun. If the planet replaces Saturn, it would be easily visible to the naked eye at night. It would actually appear several times larger than a full moon. But this ginormous ring system won't last long. In time they will merge together to become satellites. A few of these satellites have already been discovered in between the ring system.

Wasp 12 b

This gas giant the size of Jupiter was discovered in 2008. It takes just 26 Earth hours to make an orbit around its star and is slowly devoured by the star. It also acquired an egg shape due to the tidal forces of its star. All this is because it's so close to its star that the heat and gravity are stripping away its gases and core. When observed first it had a mass of 1.465 Jupiter. The planet is just 3.4 million kms from its star Wasp-12. Even though it's being eaten away it’s a large exoplanet, it's slightly larger than Jupiter. The exo-planet also happens to be very dark. It’s said the clouds in its atmosphere allow light to go deep within it and then trap it from escaping. Yet it glows due to its high heat and also happens to be tidally locked. The side facing the star is 2500˚ C. It’s been calculated that the planet will be completely devoured in 10 million years.


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