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6 March 2014 1:04 pm ,
Vol. 343 ,
Magdalena Koziol, a former postdoc at Yale University, was the victim of scientific sabotage. Now, she is suing the...
Antiretroviral drugs can protect people from becoming infected by HIV. But so-called pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP...
Two studies show that eating a diet low in protein and high in carbohydrates is linked to a longer, healthier life, and...
Considered an icon of conservation science, researchers at World Wildlife Fund (WWF) headquarters in Washington, D.C.,...
The new atlas, which shows the distribution of important trace metals and other substances, is the first product of...
Early in April, the first of a fleet of environmental monitoring satellites will lift off from Europe's spaceport in...
Since 2000, U.S. government health research agencies have spent almost $1 billion on an effort to churn out thousands...
- 6 March 2014 1:04 pm , Vol. 343 , #6175
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ScienceShot: Supersonic Winds Rip Alien World
23 June 2010 1:37 pm
Hurricane Katrina would be regarded as a gentle breeze on HD 209458b. The giant planet, located about 150 light-years away in the constellation Pegasus, is a hot Jupiter—nearly as big as our own gas giant, but orbiting very close to its parent star. Like Mercury and our moon, the planet is tidally locked, meaning it always shows the same face to its sun. As a result, HD 209458b's dayside surface temperature never dips below 1000˚C, while its night side temperatures are hundreds of degrees cooler. Such a large temperature gradient generates eye-popping wind speeds. How fast? By carefully analyzing the spectra of starlight streaming through its atmosphere when the planet passes in front of its star, researchers report online today in Nature that HD 209458b generates winds of toxic carbon monoxide reaching 7000 kilometers per hour. That's twice as fast as any aircraft has ever flown—not that anyone would want to fly across this world.
See more ScienceShots.