Observations of a hot Jupiter may also advance our understanding of planet origins and evolution — ScienceDaily

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Imagine being in a place where the winds are so strong that they move at the speed of sound. That’s just one aspect of the atmosphere on XO-3b, one of a class of exoplanets (planets outside our solar system), known as hot Jupiters. The eccentric orbit of the planet also leads to seasonal variations hundreds of times stronger than what we experience on Earth. In a recent paper, a McGill-led research team, provides new insight into what seasons looks like on a planet outside our solar system. The researchers also suggest that the oval orbit, extremely high surface temperatures (2,000 degrees C- hot enough to vaporize rock) and “puffiness” of XO-3b reveal traces of the planet’s history. The findings will potentially advance both the scientific understanding of how exoplanets form and evolve and give some context for planets in our own solar system.

Hot Jupiters are massive, gaseous…

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