Planets That Are Out Of This World

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Many of us are taught about the planets in our solar system in grade school, but have you ever wondered what’s beyond the milky way? As an avid fan, my favorite thing about space is the exoplanets. Exoplanets are planets that are in other solar systems and revolve around other stars. Here are some of the craziest planets that scientists have discovered. 

 

Starting off, we have the Kepler planets. These planets are named after the telescope that discovered them, Kepler 10. Kepler -16b is a real life Tatooine for you star wars fans. The planet is 200 light years away, and the discovery of this planet has created a new class of planets that could harbor life according to BigThink.com. One light year is about 6 trillion miles. Another planet is Kepler-22b also known as the New Earth. This planet is 600 light years away, twice the size of Earth, and it’s sun is 25% less bright than ours according to BigThink.com. Going along with the New Earth is Kepler 425b also known as Earth’s Cousin. This planet is 500 light years away, 10 percent larger than earth, orbits its star which is a red dwarf within 130 days, but inhabitants on this planet would feel twice as heavy as they do on Earth according to BigThink.com. Kepler 22b is an interesting planet because while it’s in the habitable zone, it has a possibility of being a water-world planet according to NASA.gov. Funny enough, Kepler 10b is the exact opposite because scientists believe that it may have a lava ocean according to NASA.gov. Finally, the final Kepler planet is the Kepler 444 system which is the oldest planetary system formed 11.2 billion years ago, when the universe was under 20 percent its current age according to NASA.gov

 

Next, we have the large and the old planets. First is planet PSR B1620-26 b or Methuselah. Methuselah is one of the oldest planets at 12.7 billion years old, topping the aging scales. The planet is 2.5 times the mass of Jupiter, is 12,400 light years away, and oddly enough orbits two stars that are burnt out and dead according to BigThink.com. Next is TrES-2b or Coal Black. This is one of the darkest planets that have been discovered. It’s similar to Jupiter in size, and while Jupiter reflects a third of its sunlight, this planet is less reflective than black acrylic paint. The insanely odd part is that the planet is being burned up by its star because it’s only 3 million miles away from it according to both BigThink.com and Express.co.uk. One of the largest exoplanets is planet HD 106906 b. This planet was originally thought that it shouldn’t exist because of its size and distance from its star. The planet is 650 times the distance from Earth to the sun and 11 times the size of Jupiter. Now one would think that this planet would be fairly old considering its size, but this planet is only a baby forming around 13 million years ago while our universe was formed around 14 billion years ago according to Express.co.uk

 

Finally we have the super planets and the oddball planets. Taking the lead is planet GJ 504 b or Pure Pink. This planet is a baby being formed only 100-200 million years ago, and it’s only 57 light years away. This planet is made up of mostly gas and allows scientists to experience how planets are developed according to BigThink.com. Next is planet HD 188753 which is the first known planet to reside in a triple star system. This planet has an occasional triplet sunset because the planet orbits a star, which orbits a star, which yet again, orbits another star according to Express.co.uk. A fairly oddball planet is that of planet 55 Cancri e. This planet is 40 light years away and thought to be made of diamonds. It’s twice the size of Earth, but is 8 times Earth’s mass. Now starting off the super planets is planet J1407b or Super-Saturn. This planet is 434 light years away, has a mass 40 times the size of Jupiter, and has 37 rings, spanning 120 million kilometers, which is two hundred times Saturn’s rings according to Express.co.uk. Finally, there is planet Gliese 581c, also known as Super-Earth. This planet was discovered in 2007 with a mass that is five times the size of our own planet. It was once thought to be a potentially habitable planet, but upon further inspection revealed that the planet is tidally locked which means one side of the planet always sees its host star according to Express.co.uk.

 

There are so many more exoplanets that are incredibly interesting. If this kind of thing interests you, there are many YouTube videos and websites about planets like these. I just think that it is so weird yet cool that planets like these exist outside of our solar system, and they are thousands of them waiting to be discovered.

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