These planets are strange places for us earthlings to imagine. Some of them have been around almost from the start while others are fading away right now. However, one thing they all have in common is that they are incredibly strange.
750 light years away, this weird planet is one of the darkest planets ever known. It emits less than 1% of the light falling on it. This is due to the presence of a mixture of light absorbing gases that make up this planet’s thick atmosphere. The surface temperatures on Tres 2b reaches well above 1100 degree Celsius.
It is about twice the size of the Earth and is very rich in Carbon-based compounds. Due to its large size, its gravitational pull is very strong which causes the carbon inside the planet to transform into diamond under great pressure. As a result, about one third of the planet is actually just one big diamond.
This planet is tidally-locked with its parent star. It means that its one face is always towards the star and the other always away. This causes a huge temperature difference between the two sides and gives rise to gigantic storms. Scientists speculate that a portion of Gliese 581C is habitable – in fact, this planet is believed to be the best candidate for human expansion.
Methuselah is the oldest planet in the known universe. In fact it is only about a billion years younger than the universe itself. Methuselah orbits a binary star system consisting of a white dwarf star and a pulsar in a globular star cluster in the constellation of Scorpius.
This planet is located 400 light years from Earth and boasts a system of planetary rings that are 200 times bigger than the ones orbiting Saturn. If Saturn had rings as big as J1407 then it would appear bigger than the moon in the night sky. The ring system is so large that astronomers observed a 56-day eclipse of the star that J1407 b orbits.
This is the loneliest planet that we know of. It is approximately 300 light years from the Earth and is about 11 times the size of Jupiter. If it were orbiting our Sun, it would be about 20 times farther away from the Sun than Neptune is, making it the loneliest planet that we know of.
WASP-12b is slowly being eaten alive by its star. Its orbit is so close to its star that the whole planet has been heated up to unimaginably high temperatures and its mass is slowly being sucked up as it hurtles around the star extremely fast. It is roughly the size of Jupiter. This poor planet loses an incredible 6 billion metric tonnes of mass per second. In fact it’s being torn apart so quickly that it’s no longer a sphere, but an egg-like, oblong shape.
This is a planet with not one, not two, but three suns. This three star planet, which goes by its catalog name of HD 188753 Ab, sits within the triple star system HD 188753. It is about 149 light-years from Earth. If you were on HD 188753 Ab, you would have triple shadows and constant eclipses as its three parent stars crossed each others’ paths.