Happy Earth Day!

There's No Planet I'd Rather Be

Happy Earth Day! Many of us take Mother Earth for granted and forget how special and nurturing she really is (despite the odd tornado and wildfire). But really, other planets are a lot less welcoming, from landscapes that sound like they come straight outta a sci-fi novel to the down right unimaginable. It’ll make you start appreciating the gloomy days for sure. So let’s celebrate and remind ourselves how amazing this planet is, starting with some of these examples...

Apocalyptic Storms

Sharknado Movie Funny

We have some less than ideal weather here on Earth at times. Hurricanes and earthquakes try to drown or bury us alive. Yet these are just gentle spankings by Mother Earth compared to insane storms on some other planets. Just in our solar system, we witness some intense storms. Mars is ravished by massive weeks-long dust storms several times a year; however roughly every three Mars years, these storms level up into months-long storms that engulf the entire planet leaving only the 15-mile high peak of Olympus Mons peeking out. Yet these months-long storms are nothing compared to the at least 150-year long 17,000 mile-wide storm raging across Jupiter which gives the planet its distinctive Great Red Spot. If we trek out of our solar system, there are yet more mind-blowing storms. And then there’s HB 189733b which is besieged by howling winds and rain. The howling winds rage at >4,500 MPH while throwing raindrops around. Sure, 4,500 MPH is relatively calm in comparison to the winds of HD 80606b, but did we mention that the raindrops are actually molten glass?

Hell on "Earth"

Planet TrES-2b Is Hell

Then there are planets that would make Metallica fans, but most certainly no one else, proud to call home. TrES-2b, WASP-12b, and WASP-104B are such planets whose band name would be “Light Eaters”. Why? Because they absorbs ~99% of light that reaches them making them essentially pitch black planets. Not entirely pitch black though, as these planets have such unholy temperatures that they emit a faint red glow, much like a burning ember. Unlike the “Light Eaters” which are undoubtedly inhospitable, there is Gliese 581c which is borderline in the “habitable zone” of its star. However even if we managed to make it a new home, many would be off-put by its hellscape. As its sun is a red dwarf, the sky would always be blood red. Vegetation would adapt to utilizing infrared light and look pitch black. Additionally as Gliese 581c doesn’t revolve anymore, so only one strip between the starside and the backside basked in twilight would be hospitable. Red skies, black plants, perpetual twilight – kinda reminds us of Nicolas Cage’s Mandy.

Nicolas Cage Mandy

As always, an outstanding performance from the massive talent that is Nicolas Cage

Dying Planets

Finally, there are the dying planets. Keeping you alive would be the Last thing on these planets’ to-do list, as they’re struggling to keep themselves alive. KIC 12557548b, for example, is literally evaporating from existence. It suffers from extreme volcanic eruptions which spews out bits of itself which escape into space leaving behind a trail of dust similar to a comet’s tail. Oh and, remember WASP-12b of the “Light Eaters”? Unfortunately, it’s also a dying planet. It got so close to its sun that now it can no longer escape its sun’s gravitational pull which has warped WASP-12b into the shape of a football. Its sun is currently eating away at its mass at 6 billion metric tons per second and will eventually completely consume it. NASA even notes, “If you enjoy watching the world fall to pieces, then this planet is for you.”

We hope you enjoyed this little diversion and have a renewed appreciation for our dear planet. Until Elon Musk successfully whisks us away to Mars, this is our only planet, so let’s take good care of her.

Keep it COOL!

Eric and Sophie

Image Source (top to bottom): GIPHY, The Domestic Rebel, Sally's Baking Addiction, Alana Jones-Mann, GIPHY

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