Amazing Stories

To Understand the Atmospheres of Distant Exoplanets, Look to Your Car Engine

An artist's impression of a "hot Jupiter," a gauzy color-streaked planet with a star peeking up behind it. Exoplanets like these can, surprisingly, be modeled by those that simulate car engines.

The planets in question are scorching goliaths. They’re the size of Neptune or Jupiter, but orbit 50 times closer to their star than Earth does the Sun. This gives them hydrogen-rich gaseous atmospheres of 1,000 to 3,000 degrees Celsius (1,832 to 5,431 degrees Fahrenheit), which whip around at speeds of 10,000 kilometers (over 6,000 miles) per hour.

Source: To Understand the Atmospheres of Distant Exoplanets, Look to Your Car Engine

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