The Spitzer Space Telescope website will be down on Tuesday July 29th from 9am PST to 10am PST for server maintenance. Thank you for your patience.

Download Video

Video Information

Subscribe to Series

06.04.09

Tour of Planet with Extreme Temperature Swings

This animation shows a computer simulation of the planet HD 80606b from an observer located at a point in space lying between the Earth and the HD 80606 system. The animation starts 2.2 days before the moment of close approach and ends 8.9 days later. The blue areas are reflected starlight (the blue color arises mainly from absorption by sodium and potassium in the planetary atmosphere). Red regions are areas of the planet that are glowing with their own intrinsic heat.

The point of closest approach -- and maximum heating -- occurs about 4.5 seconds into the animation. As the planet whips around the star, we see the evolving thermal storm patterns across its unilluminated side. The planet's transit behind its star (as would be seen from Earth four seconds into the animation) is not shown in this simulation.

These theoretical models allow astronomers to better understand weather patterns on distant planets. While direct telescopic observations of the atmospheres of such worlds may be many decades away, such simulations give us a clue to what we may see when it becomes possible.

Browse Videos in Science Animations

2040100 per page

Details or Icons

Page-nav-left Page 2 of 4 Page-nav-right

Go to page

ssc2007-08v1

04.18.07

Infrared Rose

ssc2006-22v1

12.18.06

Stars Spring Up Out of the Darkness

ssc2006-21v2

11.07.06

Hubble-Spitzer Orion

ssc2006-20v1

10.30.06

Who Ya Gonna Call?

ssc2006-18v1

10.12.06

Fire and Ice Planet

ssc2006-16v1

08.14.06

Journey to Orion

ssc2006-15v1

07.24.06

Stars Can't Spin Out of Control

ssc2006-14v1

06.05.06

Fade to Red

ssc2006-10v1

04.05.06

Birth of 'Phoenix' Planets?

ssc2006-09v1

03.16.06

Cigar Galaxy up in Smoke

ssc2005-14v1

06.09.05

The Cry of Cassiopeia A

ssc2005-13v1

06.02.05

Space Eyes See Comet Tempel 1

ssc2005-12v2

05.30.05

Carina in Context

ssc2005-12v1

05.30.05

Pillars Behind the Dust

ssc2005-11v1

05.04.05

A More Spectacular Sombrero