If the many Hollywood blockbusters about extraterrestrial life and space exploration gone wrong haven’t already scared you into believing that the universe is truly terrifying, these Halloween-themed NASA posters just might do the trick.
The “Galaxy of Horrors” digital posters, styled like horror film advertisements from the 1950s, feature different exoplanets—planets that orbit stars other than the sun—and highlight what exactly makes them so frightening.
Space.com reports that on HD 189733 b, for example, sharp shards of silicate blow through the air faster than 5400 mph, which the poster describes as “Rains of Terror” and adds “It’s death by a million cuts on this slasher planet!” for emphasis.
The planets Poltergeist, Draugr, and Phobetor, found on the "Zombie Worlds" poster, orbit an undead star called a pulsar, whose core emits constant pulsing beams of radiation and makes Chernobyl seem like Disneyland.
You can also browse other inhospitable exoplanet posters on the site, including “Monster Mash,” a very hungry star that's slowly gobbling up pieces of a nearby planet; “The Twilight Zone,” featuring a planet with a surface covered in boiling lava; and “Eternal Darkness,” the darkest planet ever discovered orbiting a star—it’s less reflective than coal.
NASA’s Exoplanet Exploration Program created the posters and even paired them with a vintage-themed film trailer to further illustrate the "Galaxy of Horrors."
“I think for many people the posters are an entryway,” Gary Blackwood, the Exoplanet Exploration Program’s manager, said in a statement. “They make exoplanet science cool, and that opens a door for many members of the public—especially students—to learn more about the science behind the posters.”
You can read more about the exoplanets and download the posters in a few different sizes and formats here.
Looking to learn more about the Milky Way? Start with these 10 misconceptions about space.