Most Extreme Planets In The Galaxy

Most Extreme Planets In The Galaxy


Humanity has long looked up into the night
sky and wondered what all those twinkling lights above us really were. With the discovery of the telescope we began
to identify these far-off lights as other suns, and soon mankind began to imagine what
worlds may lie in the vast void of space. Could there possibly be worlds with life just
like ours, or perhaps life that we might not even recognize- where there even planets around
these far-off stars in the first place? It wasn’t until 1988 that humanity discovered
its first exoplanet, and with the launch of the Kepler space telescope not only have we
confirmed the existence of exoplanets, but have discovered thousands of them, and some
of them are truly like nothing anyone ever imagined! Hello and welcome to another episode of The
Infographics Show- today we’re taking a look at the most extreme planets discovered so
far in our galaxy! Planets are small- really small in comparison
to stars- and even our most powerful telescopes aren’t good enough to visually identify them,
so how do scientists discover exoplanets they can’t physically see in the first place? Well one technique is called the radial velocity
method, where a star is carefully observed over long periods of time to detect tiny variations
in the speed at which the star moves towards or away from Earth. Because all stars are in orbit around the
Milky Way core and at various speeds, other stars are constantly moving either towards
or away from us, and unless that star has a planet it should always be moving at a steady
pace. Yet due to gravity a large enough planet can
actually ‘tug’ against its sun just enough to make it wobble a tiny percentage of a fraction. Through careful observation, scientists can
actually measure this wobble and by calculating the star’s mass, figure out how big the culprit
planet actually is. Another technique to discover exoplanets is
called the Transit method, where a star is once again carefully monitored for a long
period of time and its average brightness is calculated. When a planet in orbit around that star moves
between us and it, it causes the brightness of its star to dim by a tiny, tiny, tiny little
fraction- but that’s enough for our super-sensitive telescopes to detect! Just how tiny of a fraction of a percentage
point of light does a planet block? Imagine standing a mile away from a lighthouse
as a moth flies across the giant spotlight at the top of the tower- your eyes will never
detect the minute dimming the tiny insect causes, but NASA’s super-sensitive computers
definitely can. This technique has been used by NASA’s planet-hunting
Kepler space telescope with great success, discovering over 3,000 planets to date! So, once NASA knows that a planet is there
it can tune its most powerful telescopes onto the host star and use something called spectroscopy
to analyze the incoming light waves. Spectroscopy analyzes incoming light- or more
accurately electromagnetic radiation- and splits it up into its various wavelengths,
just like a prism splits light into a rainbow of colors. Because of the varying energy levels of electrons
in atoms and molecules, each element in the periodic table absorbs and emits only certain
wavelengths of EM radiation. As the light from a star shines down on a
planet, some of that light pushes through the atmosphere and heads our way- by seeing
what wavelengths of EM radiation we receive from a star we can thus discover what a transiting
planet’s atmosphere is made up of. So what kind of planets has NASA discovered
so far? Well, everything from living hells to some
real headscratchers… 12. Hottest Planet Ever Mercury is the hottest planet in the solar
system- at a distance of 36,000,000 miles (57,910,000 km) from the sun, temperatures
on the day side reach a scorching 806 degrees Fahrenheit (430 C). This makes Mercury a real hot house, but doesn’t
even come close to comparing with KELT-9B, a planet discovered in orbit around a star
2.5 times more massive than our sun. While scientists cannot yet measure the distance
from the planet to its star, they do know that the surface temperature of KELT-9B is
an incredible 7,772 degrees Fahrenheit (4300 C)! That’s hotter than most stars with a lower
mass than our sun! While a rocky planet like Mercury would be
a permanently molten ball of lava, KELT-9B is a Jupiter-type gas giant who’s atmosphere
is being burned off by its parent star. 11. Coldest Planet With the axing of Pluto as a planetary body,
Neptune is officially the coldest planet in our solar system, with frigid temperatures
of -360 degrees Fahrenheit (-218 C), where its so cold that methane condenses into rain. However, orbiting a tiny, cool star known
as a red dwarf, planet OGLE-2005-BLG-390Lb, or ‘Hoth’ as it is affectionately known in
reference to the Star Wars films, is a complete ice cube at -369 degrees Fahrenheit (-223
C). At such icy cold temperatures, just 50 degrees
above absolute zero, the planet doesn’t have much of an atmosphere, with most gases frozen
solid and lying as snow on the ground of this rocky, earth-sized planet. 10. Largest Planet Stars are heavenly bodies that reach such
massive size that gravity in their core ignites nuclear fusion, however some stars- known
as brown dwarfs- are big enough to start nuclear fusion but not large enough to sustain the
process. Planet DENIS-P J082303.1-491201b has a whopping
28.5 times the mass of Jupiter, or 9063 times the mass of Earth! Planet Denis is so massive that scientists
are debating whether it’s still a planet at all, or if it should be relabeled a brown
dwarf, while the planet itself ironically orbits a confirmed brown dwarf. 9. The Smallest Smaller than Mercury but slightly larger than
our moon, Kepler-37b is the smallest planet ever discovered. A confirmed rocky world, it orbits its parent
star closer than Mercury does around our sun, making it far too hot for liquid water or
any hope of life on its surface. Kepler 115.03 could be smaller, but little
is known about it so far. 8. The Oldest Our universe is 13.8 billion years old,and
planet PSR B1620-26b is only 1.1 billion years younger than that. This old timer is a gas giant that’s 2.5 times
the mass of Jupiter and is 12.7 billion years old and orbits two host stars that rotate
around each other in a binary system formation. This old man of our universe is in fact so
old that it has outlived both of its stars, a neutron star and a white dwarf, and if that
wasn’t enough it’s even survived one of its stars exploding into a supernova! Because it is one of the first planets ever
formed, this methuselah world likely doesn’t have many of the heavy elements such as carbon
and oxygen needed to create life, which was formed later in the universe’s evolution via
exploding stars. Planets today really do have it easy, back
in PSR B1620’s days a planet had to walk uphill both ways in the snow and survive exploding
supernovas just to evolve life! 7. The Youngest At only 2 million years old, the planetary
system V830 Tauri is the youngest in our galaxy so far discovered. An astronomical toddler, the host star has
the same mass as our sun but twice the radius, meaning it hasn’t contracted fully into its
final shape yet. A gas giant with three quarters the mass of
Jupiter orbits this infant star and it too is likely still evolving, acquiring more mass
by colliding with other planetary bodies like asteroids and even gobbling up smaller, newborn
planets in its path. This evolving system has also likely not yet
seen the development of all of its final planets, and over the next few million years remnant
gas and dust orbiting the star will either pull together by gravity to form other planets,
or be swallowed up by Tauri’s Jupiter-like gas giant. 6. Planet Being Eaten Alive Orbiting far too close to its parent star
for its own good, planet WASP-12b is a carbon-rich gas giant. Spotted by the Hubble telescope being distorted
into an egg shape by the gravity of its sun, its atmosphere is being sucked into its hungry
parent star. The host star is eating WASP-12b’s atmosphere
at a rate of about 189 quadrillion tons per year, with scientists estimating that the
planet has only 10 million years of life left. 5. Death by X-rays When a star between 10 and 29 times the size
of our sun collapses, its core can become a neutron star- one of the densest objects
in the universe. Neutron stars are so dense in fact that a
matchbox-sized lump of material would weigh a staggering 3 billion tons! Their magnetic fields are also between 100
million to 1 quadrillion times as strong as the earth’s, and they can spin as fast as
several hundred times per second. Neutron stars emit beams of electromagnetic
radiation as they spin, bathing any planets caught in the path with extreme levels of
radiation. Planets PSR B1257+12A, B, and C, all orbit
a neutron star that emits deadly blasts of radiation several hundred times per second
as it spins, scouring the surface of these planets with radiation so extreme it would
immediately destroy DNA. If you were standing on the surface of one
of these worlds and somehow shielded from instant-death, you would see the star in the
sky above you like a disco ball spinning out of control, strobing the sky several hundred
times per second! 4. Glass Rains Hot Jupiters are planets about the size of
Jupiter that orbit really close to their sun, making them… well… hot. Planet HD 189733 B is a hot Jupiter with a
gorgeous blue atmosphere laden with silicate particles that orbits its star in a whopping
2 days- imagine celebrating a birthday almost four times a week! While the atmosphere may look inviting and
similar to Earth’s, the winds actually whip around the planet at 4,350 mph (7,000 kph)
and cause rainstorms of molten glass that blow sideways! 3. Darkest Planet A true incognito world, Jupiter sized planet
TrES-2b has an atmosphere made up of light-absorbing chemicals like vaporized sodium, potassium,
and gaseous titanium oxide, making the planet reflect less than 1% of light. This makes it the darkest planet ever discovered,
and despite analyzing its atmosphere scientists still aren’t completely sure why TrES-2b is
so dark. The only light the planet emits is a very
faint red glow as a result of its proximity to its sun, making TrES-2b the stealthiest
planet ever discovered and darker than coal. 2. Should’ve Put A Ring On It (Or A Few Million) Saturn is the most iconic planet in our solar
system, ringed by an absolutely beautiful system of rings made up of pulverized debris
and dust. Commonly referred to as the ‘Queen of the
Solar System’ due to its elegance, Saturn is sadly completely trumped by planet Super
Saturn J1407b, a planet 20 times more massive than Saturn with a ring system that’s more
than 200 times as large! The ring system stretches 180 million kilometers
end to end, which is more than the distance between the Earth and the sun. No doubt beautiful, but perhaps Super Saturn
J1407b is making up for something… 1. Fastest If you thought celebrating your birthday once
every 2 days might have made you feel old before, imagine how old you would feel if
instead you celebrated it once every 10 hours! Due to the force of gravity, the closer a
planet is to its star, the faster it moves, and no planet moves faster than SWEEPS-10,
which orbits its star at a distance of only 745,000 miles (1.2 million km) and makes a
complete orbit once every 10 hours! Due to its extreme proximity, this hot Jupiter
needs all of its 1.6 times the mass of our own Jupiter to resist being torn to shreds
by its parent star, though like many others it too will one day be obliterated as its
atmosphere is destroyed by its sun. Another speedy exoplanet is PSR J1719-1438b,
which has an orbit time of 2.177 hours. Despite only hunting for exoplanets for 25
years, our galaxy is already yielding some incredible and fascinating worlds, begging
the question of just what else is out there? As our technology and techniques continue
to improve, we’re bound to discover even stranger, colder, and hotter worlds, and if we’re lucky,
maybe one day we might get to visit. Which world on our list would you like to
visit one day? Which of these planets is the most extreme? Let us know in the comments. Also, be sure to check out our other video
Is NASA Hiding A Planet (Planet X / Nibiru)? Thanks for watching, and as always, please
don’t forget to like, share and subscribe.

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