Scientists have explained what 5400 mph winds on exoplanet 189733b mean after they have conducted a series of investigations. The discovery was made during a research that professors at the University of Warwick have made on the “Hot Jupiter” exoplanet.
The presence of strong winds on exoplanets is not new to scientists, it is the new information they have gathered on the distant celestial body they consider impressive. According to them, this is the first time that a weather system has been mapped and measured on a planet that is not located within the realms of our solar system.
The measurements have been made with the help of the Harps telescope in La Silla, Chile. Researchers have calculated the amount of Sodium absorption in the atmosphere of the exoplanet to determine its wind speed. They have then, looked at the shifts between the planet and its star as these helped them better understand air currents.
The study revealed that the speed of the wind reaches 5400mph next to its equator belt and there are constant shifts between the heated side of the exoplanet and its cools side, which appears at night.
When compared to Earth winds, scientists have estimated that the highest wind on HD 189733b is 20 times faster than winds on Earth. To reach the same speed level, these winds would have to travel with a sound speed that is seven times faster than what we normally know.
Tom Louden has confessed he was very pleased to have had the opportunity to map the weather system of an exoplanet for the first time. He believes this new discovery will lead to a better understanding of remote celestial bodies, as well as their weather systems. Researchers at the University of Warwick hope they can use the new piece of information to understand weather phenomena on Earth-like planets.
Exoplanet HD 189733b is a star that is not located in our solar system. It has been nicknamed “Hot Jupiter” because it is very similar to the said planet, but its temperatures are much higher. Its surface temperature can get to 1800 degrees Celsius and it is at times followed by incredibly cool temperatures.
Scientists are particularly amazed by the exoplanet’s silicate content. This can make the exoplanet appear either blue or red, depending on the composition of its atmosphere.
Image source: www.nasa.gov