The coolest planet in the universe is a very distant, mysterious world, called OGLE-2016-BLG-1195Lb. It lies in the far reaches of our galaxy, about 13,000 light years from Earth. Researchers made the discovery using gravitational microlensing (GML) observations from the Spitzer Space telescope and the Korean Space Agency. In 2017, OGLE-2016-BLG-1195Lb was named one of the coldest planets in the universe.
Temperatures on Neptune are shockingly cold compared to what scientists expected, but the coldness is not surprising. Temperatures on Neptune are recorded from several telescopes. The planetary atmosphere is composed primarily of hydrogen, with smaller amounts of helium and methane. These gases absorb red light and give the planet its blue coloration. The average temperature of Neptune is -373 degrees F, and the coldest planet ever measured is Triton, located at -391 degrees F. At this temperature, all molecular activity is suspended.
The coldness of Neptune is caused in part by the presence of methane, a gas that traps heat very well. Whenever a planet encounters methane, it tries to keep it. Despite its cold temperature, Neptune has a slightly higher methane level in its atmosphere than Jupiter. The higher the amount of methane on Neptune, the more efficiently it traps heat from its core.
Uranus and Neptune are far from the sun. Their distance from the Sun means that the Sun has little impact on their temperature. The heat produced by these planets comes from the planet’s interiors and the motion of its surface. The ice caps and glaciers on Neptune are an example of the heat produced by these planets. But how cold is Neptune? Let’s find out.
The outer reaches of the solar system are the coldest places in the universe. While the earth is the warmest planet in the universe, Neptune is the coldest. The surface of the planet is minus 353 degrees Fahrenheit, a hundred and eighty degrees Celsius below the Earth’s surface. Compared to those temperatures, it’s no wonder Neptune is called the Ice Giant.
Both Uranus and Neptune are ice giants and have dynamic atmospheres. While the two planets share the same composition of gases and ices, they are different in structure. In fact, Uranus is more like an ice planet while Neptune is an ice giant. However, both are very cold, with Neptune’s cloud top temperature dipping below -224 degrees Fahrenheit in 1989.
Known as the “ice planet,” Uranus is the coldest planet in our solar system. It has a 98 degree tilt on its axis and a 42-year period of direct sunlight at one pole. The atmosphere of Uranus is mostly frozen, and it experiences extreme seasons. Its dark side warms up dramatically after 40 years, resulting in violent storms. However, it is unknown exactly why Uranus is colder in the equator than it is on the other side.
The coldest planet in the universe is significantly colder than Neptune, the next coldest planet in our solar system. However, the two planets are significantly closer to the sun. This means that the temperature of these planets is largely determined by internal processes, as they receive almost no heat from the sun. This means that Neptune will emit more energy into space than Uranus does, despite the fact that both planets are nearly as far from the sun as Neptune.
The atmosphere of Uranus is divided into three layers: the troposphere, the stratosphere, and the thermosphere. The troposphere contains water clouds between -300 and 50 km. The temperature of this region is minus 353 degrees Fahrenheit, and the icy material there is much higher than that on the surface. This gives Uranus its blue hue. At the same time, the thermosphere is very thick, but does not have a mesosphere.
Uranus’s core is likely rocky and has a temperature of approximately 9,000 degrees Fahrenheit or 4,982 degrees Celsius. The core of these planets is hotter than their icy atmospheres, but Uranus’ core has a much smaller temperature. Despite the fact that Jupiter has a higher temperature than Uranus, the two planets would still be visible through infrared telescopes if there was no Sun.
The coldest planet in the solar system is Uranus, which is a billion miles closer to the sun than Neptune. Its surface temperature is minus 371 degrees Fahrenheit, or minus 224 degrees Celsius. The reason for this extreme coldness is still a mystery. While scientists speculate about the origin of the planet’s temperature, it’s also possible that the planet has been knocked off its axis, preventing the atmosphere from reaching the surface.
Scientists estimate that Pluto has a surface temperature of about -387 degrees Fahrenheit or -233 degrees Celsius. This is a far cry from the -126 degrees Fahrenheit that the coldest spot on Earth reaches. In 2013, a NASA satellite measured a record-setting Antarctic chill. However, humans are capable of surviving for up to three minutes at such low temperatures. Whether or not Pluto is really as cold as scientists claim is up for debate, but the scientific community can’t deny the coolness.
The cold temperature of Pluto is caused by a different process. The dwarf planet’s atmosphere is made up of nitrogen, methane, and carbon monoxide. These atmospheric gases are known to alter as Pluto orbits the sun. The sun’s ultraviolet rays can break down the gases in the atmosphere on Pluto and cause a haze of solid particles to form. Observations suggest that this hazy coating is responsible for the extra-cold surface temperature of the dwarf planet.
Since Pluto is further away from the Sun, it experiences colder surface temperatures than Neptune. Moreover, its atmosphere is characterized by tilt and blows, which eject heat through its zonal winds. While this planet rarely experiences tempestuous storms, it still looks like a blue smooth ball of ice. The icy surface is a reminder that Pluto may be the coldest planet in the universe.
Pluto is the ninth largest object in the solar system. It is also the largest trans-Neptunian object by volume. Scientists have recently concluded that Pluto may have a liquid ocean. And since Pluto is so far away from Earth, scientists know little about its surface. The New Horizons spacecraft, which flew by Pluto in July 2015, has gathered multiple datasets on Pluto. It has found evidence of volcanoes and other geologic features.
Uranus is the third coldest planet in the universe. Despite being a billion miles closer to the Sun, it is the fourth coldest planet. Its average temperature is -224 degrees Fahrenheit, while Neptune is -212 degrees Fahrenheit. Its cold temperatures aren’t due to the planet’s distance from the sun, but instead to its anomalous orientation and chaotic atmosphere.
The discovery of a planet that orbits the same star as our Sun, OGLE-2016-BLG-1196L, has made the topic of cold planets in our universe even more fascinating. While the planet itself has the mass of Earth, it is considerably colder. It may be more of a gas giant than a planet, and it may not be habitable.
The OGLE-2016-BLG-1196Lb exoplanet orbits a star that is nearly 13,000 light years away. Scientists are not sure if the star is actually a star. The star may actually be a brown dwarf, a type of star with a very cold core, and is too small to allow nuclear fusion to occur. The star itself is only 7.8 percent the mass of the sun, so it’s on the border between a star and a planet.
The OGLE-2016-BLG-1194Lb exoplanet is about 13,000 light years away and orbits an unknown-type star. Its mass is equal to that of an Earth and takes 4.4 years to complete one orbit around the star. The planet orbits the star 0.7 times every 365 days and is 13,000 light years distant. It is so cold that it’s not even possible for life to exist there.
Scientists are trying to figure out the distribution of planets in our galaxy. They have discovered two planets that orbit the Milky Way’s disk, which is a pancake-like area surrounding the bulge. Spitzer, a NASA space telescope, discovered a planet in the disk of the Milky Way, and have now discovered another one. It’s a candidate for Earth-like planets.
The discovery of a new exoplanet 80 light years away from Earth was made possible by observations of a “free-floating” star. This planet confirms the theory that planet-sized bodies form far away from stars. NASA’s SVS has a useful article about exoplanet formation. And Wikipedia’s Exoplanet page is informative.