“Hello” “Sorry boss, can’t come to work today, it’s hot sulphuric acid outside my home today and my kid is starting to melt.” Well, thank goodness, we don’t get the chance to make those excuses. Although we find the pictures of space spectacularly vibrant, the world out there is unforgiving and ferocious. Here’s a list of most bizarre things falling from planet skies as rain on planets in the space.
Sulphuric Acid Rain
Hell breaks loose on Mercury in the most literal sense. As if the extreme searing and glacial temperatures were not enough to make it unlivable, there are occasional downpours of Sulphuric Acid on the planet. Yes, you read that right. Sulphuric Acid is the most corrosive acid that we know. The Sulphuric acid clouds are almost always covering the planet, from its poles to its equator.
Although, Mercury’s temperature is so high that the sulphuric acid evaporates before it can hit the ground. The Sulphuric Acid fumes again form the clouds and this process repeats itself just like the earth’s water cycle. So where does this Sulphuric Acid come from? Mercury’s atmosphere is made majorly of Carbon Dioxide and also of some gases like Sulphur Dioxide. This sulphur dioxide when combines with water, makes the deadly sulphuric acid.
It’s Raining Diamonds.
Uranus and Neptune might be the most ideal spot to propose to your girlfriend, provided that you don’t get hypothermia or get crushed under the intense atmospheric pressure. It is true that it rains diamonds on Neptune and Uranus. The exorbitant atmospheric pressure is lethal for you but ideal for the transformation of carbon into diamonds.
These two planets have really low surface temperatures, but their core temperature is up to thousands of degrees Celsius. The scientists created environments with pressure and temperature similar to that of these two planets and were successful in creating a diamond by compressing carbon atoms. The diamond molecules formed presumably measure up to a few nanometres. The tiny diamonds precipitate and create diamond showers. Presence of extreme pressure conditions in the core of these planets also suggests that their cores must be full of diamonds.
Not into Diamonds? It Rains Rubies and Sapphires on This Planet
The planet HAT-P-7b has the ideal conditions and ingredients to make rubies and sapphires, a temperature of 2500 degrees Celsius, and corundum (a compound from which rubies are formed). The planet, though formidable, is impressively beautiful owing to its shimmering jewel-like surface.
HAT-P-7b is so close to its sun that it completes its orbit in mere 2.2 days. Also, the side that faces its sun is fixed, so it’s always day on the half hemisphere and always night on the other hemisphere. This causes massive temperature differences. The side facing the sun has searing temperatures causing mineral rocks to vaporize, while the other side is much cooler. The differences cause winds that send rock vapors to the cooler side, where they condense and precipitate as rubies and sapphires.
Molten Glass Rain
HD 189733b is an epitome of the fact that looks can be deceiving. It is an innocent looking planet that resembles our earth’s look from space of a “pale blue dot”. Only that the blue color doesn’t come from sparkling lakes or oceans, but blazing particles of glass whooshing around at speeds of 7242 kmph.
HD 189733b belongs to a class of planets known as “hot Jupiters”, which are the planets that are similar to Jupiter but are placed extremely close to their star. This planet is locked, which means its one side always faces the sun, while the other is always dark. Its atmosphere contains silicate clouds which possibly precipitate and lead to molten glass rains. Also, owing to the temperature differences between the two hemispheres of the planet, the winds howl at really high speeds making the molten glass rain lot more vicious.
Titan, the moon of Saturn, resembles Earth. It has a solid rock surface, lakes, streams and, rains, except that the lakes, streams and rains are made of liquid methane. As per the images received from the Cassini-Huygens spacecraft, there are a number of lakes of methane and ethane on Titan.
It is, in fact, the only extra-terrestrial body that we know has an earth-like raining cycle. It also has occasional rainstorms. Although, it rains rarely on Titan, but when it does, the methane clouds downpour centimeters and meters of rainfall making massive methane-bodies. There are three large seas near the north pole, one lake near the south pole, while the equatorial region majorly consists of dunes.
OGLE TR is a strong independent planet that needs no star. It is one of the rare planets that doesn’t revolve around any star, but exists independently. The planet has a gorgeous shade of red due to its clouds made up of hot silicates and iron. These clouds bring with them a downpour of glowing red-hot molten iron.
But if the planet has no star, which heat source keeps the iron the molten state? What keeps the planet flaming hot is the heat emitted from its own core. In fact, some scientists prefer to call it a very small sized star instead of a planet.
Dusty with a Chance of Rock Rains
There are two kinds of planets, rocky and gaseous. Our earth is a rocky planet, so is Mars. But what happens when the temperatures are so high that the rocks on the planet exist in molten form? We get COROT-7b. Its surface temperature is about 2326 degrees Celsius. Its temperature is so high because of its close proximity to its sun. The planet is basically an ocean of lava. The vapors of iron condense when they reach a comparatively cooler atmosphere above and fall down as molten iron showers.
Hot Plasma Rain
If rains are an obvious phenomenon on planets, they should be so on stars too. Our sun, in fact, was recorded to get plasma rain. It has more to do with magnetic fields than typical evaporation and condensation. Our sun occasionally produces solar flares, which is nothing but a sudden flash of light on its surface. When these solar flares happen, they are accompanied by a magnetic field. The magnetic field causes the particles in the flair form graceful loops that look like a waterfall that is red and searing hot.
Heavy Metal Rain
Sure we love the snow-capped peaks in winter. Well, our neighbor Venus also experiences something similar, except that it has metal capped mountain peaks. The surface temperature of Venus is about 480 degrees Celsius, which causes some metals to vaporize. The vapors, when reach higher altitudes cool down and settle as a metallic frost on the mountains.