Saturn on Steroids
The official name of this exoplanet is J1407b but a massive system of circumplanetary rings (640 times the ones of Saturn’s rings) gives it the title of a ‘Saturn on Steroids’. It is the only known exoplanet that has rings similar to Saturn. If Saturn is replaced with this planet in our solar system, its rings will be clearly visible from all parts of the Earth as they will be many times larger than a full moon.
The fact that Gliese 581c could theoretically support life despite having extreme temperatures on both its sides (tidally locked) allows this exoplanet to make it to this list of interesting planets. It orbits the host star at a distance of 10.9 million kilometers, which is only a fraction of the 150 million kilometers between Earth and the Sun. The scorching heat on the near side can melt you within seconds while the far side has the ability to freeze any form of life almost instantly. Having said that, a narrow strip of land between them can actually harbor some life.
The most likely candidate for being an ocean planet, GJ 1214b has virtually no land as massive oceans stretch all over the surface of the exoplanet. This water world lies in the constellation Ophiuchus and is the 2nd known super-Earth after CoRot 7b. In light of the extracted information, astronomers consider it a bigger and hotter version of Europa, a moon of Jupiter.
55 Cancri E
Large proportions of its mass consist of Carbon (diamond) and that’s the reason why this exoplanet is generally known as a ‘Diamond Planet’. The intense pressure and extreme temperature (2400o C) on this carbon-rich world convert the carbon into diamond. Given the fact that 55 Cancri E can complete a full orbit in just 18 hours, it orbits incredibly close to its parent star which explains the above-mentioned heat and pressure.
Sapphires and rubies are certainly not as worthy on Hat P-7b as they are on our world. This amazing planet is located at a distance of about 1000 light-years from us, in the Cygnus constellation. The high precipitation of Aluminum Oxide in the atmosphere of the night side of this planet results in weather where it experiences a ‘rain of rubies and sapphires’. What makes this exoplanet even more interesting is that violent storms distribute these gems all over its surface.
HD 189733b is surely one of the most beautiful planets, having a deep azure color. This exoplanet is a must for all the lists of interesting planets because it actually experiences a rain of glass, accompanied by some vicious winds that can reach to a speed of up to 2 kilometers per second. Scientists believe that if such a storm occurs at the equator of our planet, it will be able to travel all the way around the Earth in just 5.5 hours.
Located in the Virgo constellation, GJ 504b is often referred to as ‘the Pink Planet’ due to its pinkish-magenta color. The beautiful color of this exoplanet is a reflection of its youth (newly formed planet) because it is still glowing with heat, which gives the surface its color. It is orbiting its star at nearly 9 times the distance between the Sun and Jupiter.
With an Earth Similarity Index of 0.88, Kepler 438b is the most Earth-like planet among all the exoplanets discovered to date. Not only does this planet resembles our world in terms of radius and mass, but it also lies in the habitable zone (a region around a star in which water could exist in liquid state) of Kepler 438.
The darkest known exoplanet of the universe certainly deserves a place in the list of interesting planets because it reflects less than 1% of the light that hits its surface. The dim red color of the reflected light gives the planet an evil red color. Most of its composition is similar to Jupiter and it orbits extremely close to its host star, which safely places it into the class of ‘Hot Jupiters’.