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Interstellar Weather Forecast: 5,400 mph Winds & 1,700º Temps

20 Nov 2015, 12:27 pm

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For the first time, astronomers have been able to measure a weather system on a planet outside of Earth’s solar system. HD 189733b is located in the Vulpecula constellation, 63 light years away. Using the standard meteorological method to measure movement on Earth, the Doppler effect was also used to measure wind on HD 189733b. The Doppler effect caught winds at an astonishing 5,400 mph. That’s seven times the speed of sound. Couple that with daytime temperatures at 1,700 degrees Fahrenheit and it doesn’t look like we will be inhabiting HD 189733b anytime soon.

(Credit- NASA, ESA, M. Kornmesse)
(Credit- NASA, ESA, M. Kornmesse)

The find is still exciting though because it shows how much information can be gleaned from the current technology. It is also exciting because HD 189733b is the closest “Hot Jupiter” to Earth. A “Hot Jupiter” is a planet roughly the size of Jupiter that circles very close to it’s star, making it extremely hot. By closely orbiting the star, Hot Jupiters are easy to detect because of the light they blot out during the planet’s passing.

For WeatherNation: Meteorologist, Monica Cryan
(Headline Image: NASA, ESA, M. Kornmesse)

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