Published On Jul 19, 2017
Check out these strange natural phenomena on other planets! From crazy thunders to volcanic lightning, you won't believe mysterious top 10 list of bizarre and unbelievable alien phenomena!
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10. Lightning Dust Storms
On Earth, sandstorms can carry dust as high as a mile up into the air. On Mars, dust storms can reach heights of 20 to 30 miles into the atmosphere, expanding globally and obscuring the entire surface for days - even weeks. Without any rain to wash the dust out of the sky, the particles hang in the dry planet's atmosphere far longer than in Earth's - so long that they act as seeds for clouds to form.
But the size of these dust storms isn't the only thing that's impressive about them. When a pocket of dust within a storm is heated by the sun, the surrounding atmosphere warms quickly, creating a temperature discrepancy on the cold planet. Since hot air rises and cold air falls, the pocket of dust is propelled upward at 22 mph, like a rocket - 100 times faster than the convection normally occurring within the storm. As the dust particles rub against one another, friction charges the dust cloud with electrostatic forces that can discharge as lightning bolts. The result is a giant, roiling sandstorm crackling with electricity.
9. Pure Plasma Atmosphere
The search for water in our universe is closely tied with the search for life. As such, any leads in the hunt for H2O are met with great interest in the scientific community Planet Gliese 1214 b raised a few eyebrows when it was discovered to have an atmosphere rich in water.
Unfortunately, that water doesn't exist in a liquid state. In fact, it doesn't even exist in a solid or gaseous state - it's a plasma. Gliese 1214 b orbits its star at a distance 70 times closer than the Earth orbits the Sun, reaching temperatures of 280°C, making it uninhabitable.
Take a block of ice - solid H2O: one part oxygen, two parts hydrogen. The water molecules are arranged in a rigidly structured pattern. Add some heat, and the molecules get excited; they begin vibrating and lose their cohesion, but remain held together as a liquid. Add more heat, and the molecules become excited enough to move around freely, separated from each other by vast distances: water vapor.
But add even more heat and the molecules themselves lose their cohesion, breaking apart into charged particles. You're no longer dealing with simple molecules of H2O floating around, but also the "broken" components of water molecules, including oxygen, hydrogen, and even free electrons, all floating around as a soupy mess we call plasma.
Yes, this is the same plasma found in plasma TVs, but other examples of plasma you may be unaware of include fluorescent lamps, neon signs, and lightning. Needless to say, you wouldn't want to breathe any of these, let alone live on a planet in which the air itself was plasma.
8. Hexagonal Cyclone
At Saturn’s North Pole there is an extremely cool cyclone. It isn’t circular or rounded like most extreme weather systems, but it is actually shaped like a hexagon. The clearest image of this storm can be seen in a composite from the Cassini probe. Each side of the hexagon is 8,600 miles (13,800 km) long, which is very close to the diameter of Earth. A circular storm lies at the center, at the planet's north pole.
The hexagon is actually a current of air in Saturn's upper atmosphere, similar to Earth's jet streams, according to meteorologist Eric Berger of ARS Technica. It has estimated winds of 200 mph and the rings consist of icy particles, continually colliding. No one knows how long the feature has existed but because there are no landforms to disrupt it, it may persist for a long, long, long time.
The hexagonal cyclone has also been seen to change color, from blue to gold. Scientists theorize that it’s an effect of Saturn’s seasons.
7. Storms Made of Glass
Located 63 light years from Earth, the planet HD 189733b is a “hot Jupiter.” It’s actually 13% more massive than our Jupiter but 30 times closer to its star than Earth is to the Sun. It’s the closest planet of its type to our solar system, and that means scientists have been really focused on finding out more about it. The surface temperature is 980° C (1,800 °F), and it has winds of 6,400 kilometers (4,000 mi) per hour.
The extreme temperatures means that its atmosphere is evaporating, causing the planet to lose up to 600 million kilograms (1.3 billion lb) every second.
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