- Education and Science
5 Amazing Planets They Kept From You
If you're reading this, chances are you live in one of the areas in the world where you're also able to go to school and receive an education on a variety of topics, ranging from math to reading to biology. And many of you had some basic lessons in astronomy. You were taught the earth revolves around the sun, a day lasts 24 hours, and the sun is one star in a population of trillions. But what they didn't teach you in school is how insane the universe is out there!
There are stars and planets that would blow your mind. Today I am presenting you with 5 awesome planets you were never told about!
1. Gliese 581c
This planet is one of the so-called "earthlike" planets out there, being 5.6 times the size of Earth, and existing in the Goldilocks zone of its star, Gliese 581 - in the constellation of Libra. What is the Goldilocks zone, you ask? It's the small area in space where a planet is just the right distance from its star for liquid water - and potentially life - to form. It's not too hot, and not too cold, just like in the story of Goldilocks.
Except this planet isn't "just right" at all; quite the contrary! Due to the speed with which it rotates and revolves around Gliese 581, it just so happens that one part of the planet is always facing the star, and one part is always facing away from it. This results in the planet having a permanent cold and hot side, or to put that more vividly: one side covered in ice, one side made of pure lava! And if that wasn't awesome enough, the sky is always a deep red due to the properties of the star.
Lava - and red ice aliens? How cool is that!
2. Gliese 436b
This planet orbits a star called Gliese 436 - that is not the same star as the fire-and-ice planet! But this one is equally awesome - if not more so. It is covered in ice, but it's seering hot there. That means burning ice! And here I thought that only existed in cartoons. But how is this possible?
Simple. Even though the planet is very close to its star, thereby making it incredibly hot, it is covered in a lot of water which, rather than evaporate, is compressed by the intense gravity of the planet into ice. That means snowball fights on Gliese 436b are something you want to avoid! Just in case you ever thought of visiting.
3. 55 Cancri e
This is probably my personal favorite on this list, and you'll see why in a second. Scientists have determined that the planet has a high amount of gravity and is rich in carbon. That means it's most likely a diamond planet! See? I told you you'd get it. A girl's best friend.
This planet orbits its star in 18 hours, which is pretty damn quick, considering it takes us 365+ days to do the job. It's also visible to the naked eye, and is located only 40 light years from Earth, meaning if you left now, you'd be back right on time to put it on her finger before collapsing of old age!
To prove nature has a sense for drama, this planet is being slowly devoured by its parent star. Look at the picture I added to this post. Dramatic, no? That's an artist's concept of what it would look like. It takes it only a little over a day to orbit Wasp-12. Scientists are deliriously happy over finding this planet, not only because they've got a vicious streak that likes watching little planets being eaten alive, but because it allows them to see the last stages of a dying planet's life. And the poster just looks really cool.
Besides having a catchy name, this is a planet so dark, it makes a black hole look like a diamond that's being kept under a disco-light. At a brisk 750 light years away, TrES-2b is thought to be a gas-giant, about the same size of Jupiter. And when I say dark, I mean really dark. It reflects less than 1 % of the light it receives from its sun. This makes it darker than coal!