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Odd planet's extreme global warming: Highs of 2240

A study published in the latest issue of Nature indicates there is a distant planet -- HD 80606b -- which is four times the size of Jupiter and is able to heat up more than 1,200 degrees in just six hours.

"We watched the development of one of the fiercest storms in the galaxy," Lick Observatory astronomer Greg Laughlin said in a statement.  "If you could float above the clouds of this planet, you'd see its sun growing larger and larger at faster and faster rates, increasing in brightness by almost a factor of 1,000."

The NASA Spitzer Space Telescope was used to study the changing weather on HD 80606b -- a first for a planet outside of our solar system. It also has a very distinct orbit, as it comes closer to its sun than Mercury's distance from the Earth's sun, before launching away to be just as far as Earth is from the sun.

When it's closest to the sun, radiation is 800 times stronger than when it is orbiting far away from the sun.  The planet orbits the star in 111 days.  The extremely high heat and severe temperature changes obviously make it unlikely any signs of life exist on the planet.

"The orbit is extremely eccentric," Laughlin said in the NASA statement.  "Of the expolanets that have been detected -- we've observed 300 -- this is the most extreme orbit we've seen so far."

The odd orbit accounts for the planet's extreme temperature change, with the planet normally averaging a temperature around 980 degrees.

Astronomers look forward to learning more about the planet, especially its odd orbit that causes extreme temperature changes.  They also want to try and get a direct image of the planet sometime in the future, and leave behind artist's interpretations.

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By Kalte on 1/29/2009 3:20:47 PM , Rating: -1
It also has a very distinct orbit, as it comes closer to its sun than Mercury's distance from the Earth's son

Huh? Also, there is only one Sun, and it's the star in our solar system. All other stars go by a different name.

RE: Huh
By rudolphna on 1/29/2009 3:26:37 PM , Rating: 2
Im more concerned about the "...than mercury's distance from earths son ... But you are indeed correct. however most people will identify more with sun than with Star XGF823822-DH Alpha

RE: Huh
By WTFiSJuiCE on 1/29/2009 3:28:46 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think anyone was disputing that. He was merely explaining the way that planet's orbit works by comparing it with some of the orbits planets in our own system exhibit.

RE: Huh
By akugami on 1/29/2009 3:40:36 PM , Rating: 4

(n) sun (any star around which a planetary system revolves)

While our sun does not have a proper scientific name it is referred to as the Sun or also Sol (hence Solar System). Other planetary systems would have their own unique star but one can refer to other stars as the sun of planet xyz. For example, the star Gliese 581 can be referred to as the sun of Gliese 581 d, the third planet in that planetary system.

RE: Huh
By cheetah2k on 1/29/2009 3:54:49 PM , Rating: 4
"Lick Observatory"

That sounds like an interesting place to work :-D

RE: Huh
By dj LiTh on 1/29/2009 4:35:23 PM , Rating: 2
No doubt the female scientists were the ones who named it.

RE: Huh
By bobny1 on 1/29/2009 9:39:39 PM , Rating: 2
I'm openining a BBQ busisness!.

RE: Huh
By mezrah on 1/30/2009 8:10:55 AM , Rating: 2's way too hot.

Low and slow is the key

RE: Huh
By ice456789 on 1/29/2009 8:57:00 PM , Rating: 2
As you are saying, I believe Sol is the 'name' of our sun. Of course Sol means sun in Spanish.

Similarly our moon is named Luna but we all call it 'the moon'. There are plenty of moons out there. Just like how there are billions of 'moms' out there, but if someone is talking about their mom, they are only describing one person.

RE: Huh
By joex444 on 1/29/2009 3:52:31 PM , Rating: 2
Nah, sun in lowercase refers to the nearest star to a given object. The uppercase Sun refers to Earth's sun.

It's kind of like god vs God. The first is a generalized creator, whereas the latter is the Christian god.

RE: Huh
By icanhascpu on 1/29/2009 4:00:01 PM , Rating: 1
Maybe its just me, but I find it hard to trust the accuracy of the rest of the article when the author things 'sun' just another term for star, and then ontop of that calls it the 'son'.

Seriously, if these articles were a few pages long I could understand, but this is a few paragraphs.

RE: Huh
By BeastieBoy on 1/29/2009 4:21:02 PM , Rating: 4
Maybe its just me, but I find it hard to trust the accuracy of the rest of the article when the author things 'sun' just another term for star, and then ontop of that calls it the 'son'.

See, it's easy to make spelling mistakes isn't it?

RE: Huh
By danrien on 1/29/2009 7:18:29 PM , Rating: 2

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