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"Wrong-way" Winds on CoRoT-2b
Ssc2018 03a

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyle (IPAC)

Artwork • January 22nd, 2018 • ssc2018-03a

ssc2018-03a

This illustration depicts the strange case of the backwards hotspot researchers have found on the hot exoplanet known as CoRoT-2b. NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has played an instrumental role in mapping out the temperature distributions of a handful of closely-orbiting worlds knows as hot Jupiters. In most cases, the hottest spot on the planet is found to be either at the point directly facing the near-by star or offset eastward by strong winds.

In the mysterious case of exoplanet CoRoT-2b, however, the hot spot turns out to lie in the opposite direction: west of center. There are currently a number of ideas that could explain this strangely offset hot spot, including mechanisms that make the winds blow opposite the way they do in other known planets of this type.

About the Object

Name
CoRoT-2b
Type
Planet > Special Cases > Hot Jupiter
Planet > Special Cases > Transiting
Distance
930 Light Years