Weird winds blow the ‘wrong way’ on scorching hot exoplanet

If you’re looking to beat the heat on exoplanet CoRoT-2b, astronomers discovered the most wonderful spot in a surprising location. Their discovery could help scientists better understand how winds blow on “hot Jupiters” or massive gas giants that orbit very close to their parent stars.

Planets like CoRoT-2b can take three days or less to finish an orbit.( By contrast, Mercury in our solar system makes a single orbit around the sun in 88 days .) So it’s no amaze that these hot Jupiters are exceedingly hot, especially on their daytime side. One side always faces the starring, inducing that area especially warm.

Other hot Jupiters have strong eastwards winds at the equators, which sometimes means the winds displace the most wonderful area on countries around the world to just east of the planet’s closest place to the superstar. Not on CoRoT-2b, however. Its hotspot is to the west, according to new data from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope.[ The Strangest Alien Planets We Know]

The team studying it suggests CoRoT-2b’s gale jolts in the opposite direction to other hot Jupiters. Why? That remains a mystery.

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