July 20th, 2013 18:50 EST
Bizarre Exoplanet Offers New Information on Behavior of Strange New Worlds
Remember when we watched the different episodes of Star Trek when Captain Kirk and his trustee companion, Mr. Spock would somehow beam themselves onto some distant planet in the middle of nowhere in outer space? That planet had some of the strangest characteristics that would boggle the mind of even the smartest science buff. I remember watching many of those types of episodes back when I was a kid and having some of the funniest dreams afterwards when I went to bed because of the funny scenery Star Trek used to try to look like something out of the ordinary. Even the nerds on The Big Bang Theory would agree with me and they worship the show.
Sometimes science fiction and Hollywood hit the nail on the head and get it right and believe it or not there are actually planets out there that resemble the same ones Star Trek`s animation artists came up with during the show and one of them is right around the corner of our neighborhood only sixty-three light years away.
The exoplanet or HD 189733b as it is known by NASA`s scientists is one of the closest exoplanets that can be seen crossing the face of its star. NASA`s Hubble Space Imaging Spectrograph collected data in the changes of light from the planet before, during and after the pass behind its star. The light`s radiance dropped slightly and the color of light dimmed or changed slightly. Frederic Pont of the University of Exeter in South West England commented on this phenomenon by saying, "We saw the light becoming less bright in the blue but not in the green or red. Light was missing in the blue but not in the red when it was hidden. This means that the object that disappeared was blue." (Pont, F.)
So, what was the object(s) that disappeared that once showed the bluish color on the exoplanet? Glass, this planet actually according to NASA possibly rains glass. That would explain the bluish tint this planet gives off when looked through by a NASA telescope. NASA says within this planet is a turbulent world with daytime temperatures nearly two-thousand degrees Fahrenheit and howling winds in excess of four-thousand, five-hundred miles an hour. Would surely cause a bad hair day for most of you ladies out there. Huh?
The cobalt blue color on this planet comes from the rather hazy and blow-torched atmosphere which contains high clouds that are laced with silicate particles. The silicates that are condensing in the massive heat could definitely form very small drops of glass that would then scatter more of the blue light rather than the red light.
This little bizarre planet has certainly caught the eye of NASA` scientists because it is just that a planet that has a changeable and exotic atmosphere. It is among the class of planets known as Hot Jupiter`s which are planets that orbit precariously close to their parent stars. The clouds on planets often play a key role in the planetary atmosphere. Scientist gain insight about planet dubbed Hot Jupiter`s by the understanding of the physics and climatology of other planets.
This mysterious planet was discovered in 2005 and again is known by NASA as HD 189733b. It orbits about 2.9 million miles from its parent star and is so close to it that it is gravitationally locked. One side of HD 189733b always faces the star and the other side is always dark. So, this would make sense, if the little planet is actually gravitationally locked then it would always have one side facing its star and the other side facing away from its star and dark because the planet does not rotate. What causes gravity like here on Earth? The rotation of a planet which with the centrifugal force would pull objects downward, thus gravity.
Back in 2007, NASA`s Spitzer Space telescope measure the infrared light or heat from HD 189733b and found that with the first mapping of temperatures for this exoplanet on the day side the side that faces its star versus its night side the side that never faces its star there was about a five-hundred degree Fahrenheit difference in overall temperatures. According to NASA with this temperature difference it should cause fierce winds to roar from the day side to the night side.
So, forget those high-priced tanning salons that you go to every week to try to look like a surfer from Malibu Beach just take a weekend trip to the planet that does not move, HD 189733b and get a jump on your tanning activities for the rest of the summer. With those microwave temperatures on the planet that would definitely make your skin change color in a hurry and those Turbine Jet engine winds, you could do sort of a complete body make over, you definitely would not return looking the same as you did before you left.
NASA Hubble Finds a True Blue Planet, (http://www.nasa.gov/hubble) Retrieved 2013.
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