6 Deadliest Planets in the Universe

6 Deadliest Planets in the Universe

6 Deadliest Planets in the Universe
Image Credits: Wired

Earth is the only known place (so far) that could harbor life. The location of the planet with respect to its host star is the most important factor to determine its chances of habitability. Alongside extreme temperatures, a handful of other atmospheric conditions also contribute to the ferocity of the following deadliest planets.

KELT-9b

KELT-9b - Deadliest Planets

KELT-9 is a massive star (about 3 times as big as our Sun) with an average temperature of 9,700o C. Consequently, the temperatures on KELT-9b are also incredibly high (up to 4,300o C). This makes it the hottest planet that is known to humanity. It has a Hydrogen-rich atmosphere that is continuously boiling and escaping into space. KELT-9b is 10 times closer to its host star than what Mercury is to the Sun and that’s the reason why it takes the exoplanet only 1.5 days to complete an orbit around KELT-9. According to an estimate, the entire atmosphere of the exoplanet will be burned in the next 200 Earth years.

Upsilon Andromedae b

Upsilon Andromedae b - Deadliest Planets

Upsilon Andromedae b is tidally locked around its star, Upsilon Andromedae A. Despite the fact that this exoplanet is terribly close to its host star, the hottest area lies on the dark side of this celestial body. Astronomers have come up with a number of theories to explain the science behind this puzzling discovery and the most popular among them is described below.

The heat from the star heats the air on the dayside of the planet. Resultantly, this warm air is then transferred to the other end of the planet (by wind). Similarly, the cooler wind on the night side is shifted to the side facing the star. This loop of heat transfer keeps the air of sun-facing side a litter cooler.

HD 189733b

HD 189733b - Deadliest Planets

HD 189733b makes it to the list of deadliest planets for a number of reasons. Although it does have a distinctive blue color (like Earth), it is not at all fit for human survival. The blue tint of the exoplanet is caused by its silicate-rich clouds that lead to a rain of molten glass. The direction of this glassy precipitation is sideways because of the extremely fast winds (up to 8,700 kilometers per hour) that blow on the planet. If that’s not enough to kill you, the high temperature on HD 189733b would surely do. The planet is so close to its host star that it takes only 2.2 Earth days to complete an orbit around it.

Venus

Venus

Venus is the exception in our list of deadliest planets because it is the only candidate that is located in our own Solar System. The Sulfur Dioxide clouds of this planet didn’t allow Carbon Dioxide to escape its atmosphere. As a result, more and more heat is trapped on the planet which leads to devastating temperatures. This wave of hot temperature extends to all parts of Venus, including the poles. The maximum temperature on the planet goes to around 467o C. In addition to that, rainfalls and snowfalls of Sulfuric Acid adds to the hostility of the planet’s atmosphere.

WASP-121b

WASP-121b

The weirdness of this exoplanet begins right from its appearance. In contrast to the commonly-observed spherical shape of planets, WASP-121b looks like an American football. Yes, that’s right. Although the shape of the planet does not account for its deadly nature, it is one of the visible effects of the terrible conditions observed there.

Moving on to the harsh aspects of WASP-121b, it is so hot that all the objects (including atmospheric metals like Magnesium and Iron) stay in a gaseous state on this planet. Just like KELT-9, WASP-121b is extremely close to its star. As a result, scientists believe that the gravitational pull of the host star is responsible for the odd shape of the exoplanet.

Proxima b

Proxima b

At the time of its discovery, Proxima b was considered as a potential candidate for harboring life. Initial results showed a lot of promising signs (including liquid water) but things changed pretty quickly. Scientists soon realized that the planet is quite close to Proxima Centauri, a red dwarf star. For this reason, one of its sides is frozen while other is experiencing intense heat from the star. Similarly, Proxima b is exposed to a lot of ultraviolet radiations because of the frequent solar flares released by its star host. Therefore, all the chances of inhabiting this deadly planet were put to bed.

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