Discovered 1992 & 1994
These doomed worlds were among the first and creepiest to be discovered as they orbit an undead star known as a pulsar. Pulsar planets like Poltergeist and its neighboring worlds, Phobetor and Draugr, are consumed with constant radiation from the star’s core. Nothing but the undead can subsist in this most inhospitable corner of the galaxy.
Rains of Terror
This far-off blue planet may look like a friendly haven – but don’t be deceived! Weather here is deadly. The planet’s cobalt blue color comes from a hazy, blow-torched atmosphere containing clouds laced with glass. Howling winds send the storming glass sideways at 5,400 mph (2km/s), whipping all in a sickening spiral. It’s death by a million cuts on this slasher planet!
A hulking monster of a star is stealing pieces of its nearby planet, WASP-12b, to assemble itself into the ultimate Frankenstein creation. The extreme gravity is stretching the hot gas giant into the shape of an egg, all the while slowly cannibalizing the planet. Relatively soon (10 million years – a fleeting moment in space time) this planet will be completely devoured by its hungry star. If you enjoy watching the world fall to pieces, then this planet is for you.
Kepler-70b (a.k.a. KOI-55) could well be another circle of hell with an average temperature hotter than the Sun’s surface. It used to be Jupiter-sized until it spent some time inside its now-dead star…a trip that destroys most planets, but left this one a Freddy Krueger-like burned world smaller than Earth. At about 12,000 degrees F (6,800 C), it is one of the hottest planets discovered. In fact, the planet itself is evaporating, soon to be another victim.
The Twilight Zone
Imagine a never-ending ocean of boiling lava. That’s the entire surface of 55 Cancri e. Don’t be fooled by the sparkling skies above. Those clouds are filled with silicate particles that would be deadly to breathe. One side of this tidally-locked planet is in perpetual darkness, the other in blinding heat. Gloom lingers in the Twilight Zone where the two sides meet.
Are you afraid of the dark? Welcome to TrEs-2b, the planet of eternal night. The darkest planet ever discovered orbiting a star, this alien world is less reflective than coal. Inside its atmosphere, you’d be flying blind in the dark. Some scientists think an eerie deep red glow would emanate from its burning atmosphere – the air of this planet is as hot as lava.
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