12 Strange Planets That Are Both Interesting And Terrifying

Gliese 436b – A Planet Defying The Laws Of Physics

Gliese 436b - A Planet Defying The Laws Of Physics

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Gliese 436b is an exoplanet located 30 light years from Earth in the constellation of Leo and seems to defy the laws of Physics. This planet orbits its star at a distance 15 times closer than Mercury is to the sun and the icy surface is roasting at a temperature of 439 °C (822 °F). So how does ice of all things remain completely solid at 439 degrees above its melting point? Because the gravity is so incredibly strong that it compresses the trace amounts of water vapor in the planet’s atmosphere into solid ice and prevents it from melting, no matter how much it burns. One orbit around the star takes only about 2 days, 15.5 hours.

55 Cancri E – A Diamond Planet

55 Cancri E - A Diamond Planet

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55 Cancri E is only about 40 light-years away from us in the Cancer constellation. It is twice the size of Earth but is nearly 8 times more massive and twice as dense. The parent star has much more carbon than our own sun, and the mass of the planet is thought to be largely carbon. Due to the pressure and average maximum surface temperature of 4417 °F (2400 °C), this ‘super-Earth’ is believed to be covered with diamonds. It is so close to its parent star it takes a mere 18 hours for the planet to complete a full orbit.

Hat-P-7b – Where It Rains Rubies And Sapphires

Hat-P-7b - Where It Rains Rubies And Sapphires

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HAT-P-7b is located in the Cygnus constellation, about 1000 light years away from Earth. On the night side of this exoplanet, high precipitation of aluminium oxide (corundum) is found in the atmosphere. Because corundum gems are rubies and sapphires, one can describe the hypothetical weather on the planet’s night side as ‘raining rubies & sapphires’. The planet also suffers from violent storms, so it’s likely that these rubies and sapphires are scattered planet-wide.

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