Imagine that you stumble upon this website a thousand years from now. Assuming humanity hasn’t blown the Earth to smithereens by then, you’d likely have very advanced technology at your disposal. Hopefully, you’d even be able to travel through space far and wide. Think Star Wars, but with less angst and more tourism.
If you could go anywhere, where would you go? A thousand years from now, places like Pluto will be old news. You should aim a little higher and venture outside of our own solar system, maybe even galaxy. However, if you want to survive your little vacation, we really do not recommend visiting these three places.
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#1 HD 189733b – Tropical Paradise? Not Quite
If you like warm weather, make sure you don’t confuse “tropical” with “deadly”.
HD 189733b is an exoplanet – which means it’s a planet orbiting a star in a solar system different from ours. You could call this planet our close neighbour, as it’s only 63 light-years away from Earth. Just like our real-life neighbours that live across the street, this one isn’t very friendly.
While it resembles the Earth thanks to its relaxing blue tones, do not be fooled. The blue stuff isn’t water – it’s actually a rain of molten glass. Extremely hot glass rain. Sounds nice, right? What’s even better is that the winds blow up to 5,400 mph (8,700 km/h), which is about seven times the speed of sound.
If molten glass shards to the face don’t convince you, maybe the temperatures will. This planet orbits its sun very closely, which results in extreme weather. You can expect about 1,700 degrees Fahrenheit (930 degrees Celsius) during the daytime.
#2 TrEs-2b – Bring A Flashlight
This particular exoplanet may not instantly kill you, but we don’t think you’d enjoy your vacation.
It orbits the star GSC 03549-02811, and it’s located a hefty 750 light-years away from Earth. Unless you could jump into hyperspace like Han Solo himself, you’d not even reach this planet during your lifetime. Don’t worry, you’re not really missing out.
This is a massive gas giant that orbits its star very closely, and it’s known as the darkest exoplanet found to date. It reflects less than 1% of the light that hits it. It reflects less light than coal or black acrylic paint.
If you think it’s dark when you turn out the lights to go to sleep, think again. On TrEs-2b, you’d be enveloped by complete darkness, unable to distinguish day and night. However, if that cheers you up, some scientists believe that an eerie deep red glow might emanate from the atmosphere.
Oh, and it’s extremely hot – the air is the same temperature as molten lava. That’s hotter than habanero chilli peppers and Scarlett Johansson combined – and very much not recommended.
#3 – WASP-12b – Star Fodder
If a star eats a planet, would you consider that to be cannibalism? Asking for a friend.
WASP-12b also has the unfortunate luck of orbiting its star very, very closely. It only takes it one day to complete a full orbit of WASP-12, as opposed to the 365 days our Earth needs to complete a full year. If you lived on this planet, you’d be at least a few thousand years old.
Don’t be fooled by how cool that might sound. This place is yet another bad holiday destination. If you discount the fact that it’s a gas giant, has no place for you to land, and yes – you guessed it – it’s scorching hot, there’s still another issue to be dealt with.
This planet is being actively destroyed by its star. WASP-12 is massive, much bigger than our Sun, and the extreme force of its gravity is destroying this (not so little – larger than Jupiter) planet. Pieces of it are being stolen away one after another, and the whole process has stretched it into the shape of an egg. As you may have noticed, most planets are spheres, so this should tell you a thing or two about how unsafe this one is.
In about 10 million years, which in the history of spacetime is a blink of an eye, this planet will be entirely devoured by its star. Unless you’re still stuck in your emo phase and you enjoy watching the world fall apart, we recommend choosing a different place for your next vacation.
Space Is Scary
These three exoplanets are just the proverbial pinnacle on top of a very large mountain of Really Damn Scary. In fact, you’d be hard-pressed to find somewhere nice to land if you were to travel through space.
You might as well give up on your travels, stay home, and scroll through social media. We’re sure that gossip and pointless arguments will still be just as trendy in a thousand years as they are right now.
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