This Planet Rains Glass And Has Winds That Blow Seven Times the Speed of Sound

While the alien planet, referred to as HD 189733b, is as beautifully blue as Earth, it’s only the image that make the two similar. In fact, they are as different as you can imagine it to be.

HD 189733b planet rains glass

Illustration of HD 189733b. Image Credit: ESA, M. Kornmesser

One of its stark differences is the size. Located about 63 light years away from Earth, in the Vulpecula constellation, HD 189733b is much bigger than Earth, and is estimated to be about the size of Jupiter. It orbits its host star in just 2 days, and it is doing so very closely that the exoplanet is most likely tidally locked and showing only once face to its star, similar to how the moon always shows one face to Earth. In addition, the alien planet is very hot compared to Earth.

Another difference is the weather. The winds on the alien planet can reach speeds up to 5,400 mph or 8,700 km/h. To put it in perspective, it is about seven times faster than the speed of sound. What’s more, scientists also think that rain on the planet is not made of water but molten glass.

Why then does the planet have an Earth-like appearance? According to NASA, the cobalt blue colour is not a reflection of tropical oceans, like on Earth, but from a hazy atmosphere which contain high clouds with silicate particles.

Image source: http://space.com



By | 2017-02-15T19:38:54+00:00 November 1st, 2016|

2 Comments

  1. qwerty_monster November 11, 2016 at 6:37 pm

    i can’t quite imagine the winds.
    well i guess just putting .. basically anything in there, not to mention a human, it would be ripped to shreds.. so hypothetically speaking, what could we hear? any sound would get away too fast for us to hear it?

    • Brad Rogers November 18, 2016 at 12:38 pm

      I wish I knew the answer to that. I’ll definitely be looking that up!

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