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  • Shayon Roy

The Nightmare Planet

If you think your nightmares are petrifying, visit the world of HD 189733b. Here you will learn the definition of true terror. It appears to be a blue dot in the constellation of Vulpecula, much like Earth, around 63 light years away. But that is where the similarities end.

To any visitor, this planet comes across as a welcoming cool, bright blue orb. But any space traveler confusing it with the affectionate skies of Earth would be egregiously mistaken. The azure blue color that is seen from the outside does not come from the reflection of a serene, tropical ocean, but rather a hazy, blow-torched atmosphere containing high clouds laced with silicate particles.

It is classified in the category of ‘Hot Jupiters’ which are a class of gas giant exoplanets that are inferred to be physically similar to Jupiter but that have very short orbital periods (which is less than 10 days). The orbital period of this planet is approximately 2.2 Earth days since its orbit is approximately 12 times closer than Mercury’s orbit.

The weather here is detrimental, nay fatal. Because the side facing the star is 1700 degrees Fahrenheit and the side opposite that is 1200 degrees Fahrenheit. This difference of 500 degrees Fahrenheit causes the winds to blow up to a staggering 2 km/s, whipping everything in a deadly spiral around the planet. If you think that the wind is crazy enough, then the rain is on an entirely different level.

Getting caught in the rain on this planet is an excruciating suffering without an end; it’s a slow death by a million cuts. In this world, it rains sideways and the cherry on top is that the precipitate is not water or snow — it's shards of glass. These shards travel at 7 times the speed of sound, making dodging futile.

So, dear reader, if you find yourself caught in a dilemma sometime in your life, thinking that nothing in the universe can stop this suffering, think again, there are places that make hell look like utopia…….

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