It really is raining diamonds on Jupiter, as actor Jaden Smith was so keen to point out, but in reality, that small tidbit is but a single gem in a treasure trove of weird space weather facts. Envision a place where temperatures are so hot that they melt fool’s gold on towering mountain tops, a destination where storms rage on for centuries, and gemstone-covered glaciers glide across the surface. Can you take the heat of a 900-degree-Fahrenheit planet? Do you know about gas storms that happen every time a star dies? Can you imagine a place that storms so many magnetized crystals that you can see its surface glow for actual light years?
These occurrences are far from fiction. They’re a description of some of the wackiest weather in outer space. These climates are hostile, to say the least, but there’s a chance that, somewhere out there, some microorganism sees this weather as just a regular aspect of their environment.
We study space weather so thoroughly because it is one of the keys to finding out if we are, in fact, alone in the universe. Here’s a look at the zaniest intergalactic climates we’ve come across so far and what they say about those endless possibilities.