UCSC: This Heavenly Body Has Hot Flashes!
Planet weather vacillates hundreds of degrees in hours
The extrasolar planet is so close to its star that it is having "hot flashes."
Wednesday, Jan 28, 2009 Updated at 11:45 AM PST
Astronomers have found a planet with a galactic case of hot flashes. A study published in the journal Nature says the planet, in just six hours, heats up by more than 1,200 degrees.
Study author Gregory Laughlin of UC Santa Cruz says it's the first observation of changing weather on a planet outside our solar system.
During its brief close pass to its sun, the planet is 10 times nearer its star than Mercury is to our sun.
When it comes closest to its star, it becomes one giant "brewing storm."
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