Photo: Eccentric Exoplanet Gets Hot Flashes



Computer simulations based on data from the Spitzer Space Telescope show changes in heat as the distant gas giant planet HD 80606b gets closer to its host star.

The odd exoplanet goes through hot flashes, according to a January 2009 paper. Every 111 days it swings so close to its parent star that its temperature spikes by about 1,260 degrees Fahrenheit (682 degrees Celsius) in only six hours.

Picture courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCSC


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