It’s all the time enjoyable when actual life discoveries tie in with popular culture, with the newest instance being astronomers discovering a “hell planet” that may sound all too acquainted to Star Wars followers.
A world in regards to the measurement of Mars designated K2-141b has been noticed a whole lot of sunshine years away. It’s so near its solar that it’s turn out to be gravitationally locked, that means it orbits the star on the identical price it rotates on its axis, which leads to the identical aspect all the time dealing with in the direction of an intense warmth upwards of 5,400ºF (3000ºC) that not solely melts rock into an unlimited sea of lava, but in addition vaporizes it to kind a skinny and inhospitable ambiance. Winds blowing at 4 occasions the velocity of sound carry the evaporated stone in the direction of the planet’s darkish aspect, the place temperatures dropping as little as -328ºF (-200ºC) trigger it to condense and fall as rain again to the magma ocean, and so forth in a perpetual cycle.
In fact, the visuals conjured up by such harsh circumstances recall to mind the mining planet Mustafar from Star Wars, most well-known for being the place the place Anakin Skywalker had his fateful duel with Obi-Wan Kenobi in Revenge of the Sith, after which after rising as Darth Vader established his base there above a cave that was as soon as a Sith shrine and acted as a locus of Darkish Facet power.
The unstable hellscape of Mustafar is attributable to its precarious orbit caught between the gravity wells of two gasoline giants, the warring celestial forces creating instability within the planet’s floor that make it hostile to settlers however helpful for the likes of ruthless commerce guild the Techno Union and crime syndicate Black Solar.
One other, much less ubiquitously accessible comparability is the volcanic jail planet of Crematoria from The Chronicles of Riddick, the place throughout an escape, the eponymous antihero leads convicts throughout its floor the place they need to race in opposition to the approaching daybreak, since with the daylight comes sufficient warmth to incinerate them in seconds, the need of staying within the darkness being a neat inversion of the first survival tactic in Riddick’s first outing Pitch Black.
The aim of learning K2-141b is to be taught extra in regards to the early days of the Earth, when it too was coated in lava earlier than cooling right into a liveable stable floor, but when any observations occur to return throughout an ominous black fortress standing defiantly above lakes of superheated molten rock, can we agree to only depart it alone?