Even NASA is ready for spooky season. The agency released a new set of movie posters based on real cosmic phenomena as part of their ongoing Galaxy of Horrors collection. A previous batch features spiders in the dark cosmic web, a gamma-ray burst, and a dead galaxy. This time around, the NASA newcomer James Webb Space Telescope is “introduced” while other missions and telescopes get top billing. It’s a fun play on classic sci-fi horror movie posters, all in the name of science.
The Roasted Planet
Exoplanet HD 80606b is truly living a cursed existence. Its elliptical orbit around its sun ranges from 79 million miles to as close as three million miles. For comparison, Earth’s average orbit is about 150 million miles and Mercury’s is 33 million miles. As the poster says: “Its torturous journey boils its atmosphere to a hellish 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit every 111 days, roasting both its light and dark sides. HD 80606b will never escape this scorching nightmare.” The Roasted Planet indeed, or El Planeta Asado in Spanish.
Dark energy, or energía oscura, is indeed quite spooky. The mysterious force makes up about 68% of all energy in the universe, but scientists aren’t really sure what it is or how it works. We just have to trust that its benevolent. And with all the possible configurations of energy out there, who’s to say there’s not one that looks like a creepy vampire bat? Though we may not be around to see it, NASA makes sure we know one thing. “Dark energy offers a bigger fright: pushing galaxies farther apart over trillions of years, leaving the universe to an inescapable, freezing death in the pitch black expanse of outer space.”
Devoured by Gravity
Cygnus X-1 was the first confirmed black hole back in 1964; it’s a particularly appropriate subject for a retro horror movie. Every detail on this poster is perfect, from the bright colors offsetting the blackness inside to the font being pulled in. Plus, “It’s dinner time and you’re the meal” is an excellent spooky by campy tagline.
All three movie posters showcase that understanding the universe can be just as scary as not knowing what is out there.
Melissa is Nerdist’s science & technology staff writer. She also moderates “science of” panels at conventions and co-hosts Star Warsologies, a podcast about science and Star Wars. Follow her on Twitter @melissatruth.