OEAW "travel guide" to the most inhospitable planets

The climate is changing, resources are becoming scarce. No wonder mankind is longing for a new place, a new planet. The gaze is directed toward Mars. But before you sigh longingly, you should also know the dangers in space. Space researcher Luca Fossati from the Austrian Academy of Sciences (OEAW) has presented five planets that are pretty much the opposite of livable in a "Best of Evil".
Planet WASP-12b is currently being eaten by its sun
Planet WASP-12b is currently being eaten by its sun (OEAW/Harald Ritsch)

Thus, eternal night reigns on the planet PSR J1719-1438 b. But that would not be the worst: The planet is exposed to such extreme radiation that human DNA would be destroyed immediately, explains Luca Fossati, an expert on exoplanets, on the OEAW website.

KELT-9b, on the other hand, which was only discovered in 2017, is the hottest planet we know of. Temperatures of up to 5,000 degrees Celsius prevail on it. The temperatures are caused by a nearby hot star that constantly shines on KELT-9b. The hot side of KELT-9b gets 44,000 times more energy than Earth gets from the Sun.

Cosmic loner

The planet PSO J 318.5-22 turns out to be the opposite of the hot KELT-9b. PSO J 318.5-22 drifts alone through space and is terribly cold. The temperature on its surface is minus 200 degrees. But there is no ice on its surface, it is a pure gas shell.

Planet AU Mic b is a planet orbiting a young star. This star literally bombards the planet with powerful X-rays, so that every ten minutes small explosions occur on the surface of the planet. Why this happens is still unclear.

The cannibalism victim

The extrasolar planet WASP-12b is currently orbiting its sun at such a short distance that it is being "eaten" by it. It is constantly losing atmosphere, and the sun is sucking in its hull. It is not yet known how long the "feast" will last - from a few million years to a billion years, according to Luca Fossati in his presentation of the five inhospitable planets.

Planet Presents

For those interested, the ÖAW offers scientific illustrations of the five inhospitable planets on its website, which can be downloaded free of charge and used, for example, as zoom backgrounds. 

Download them HERE.