On Some Planets, the Winds Go Supersonic

On Some Planets, the Winds Go SupersonicThink of the strongest wind you ’ve ever experienced. No, think of the strongest wind anyone’s ever experienced. It still doesn’t hold a candle to the terrifyingly strong winds on some extrasolar planets. There are gas giants out there, with masses similar to Jupiter, that experience winds as strong as 14,400 kph (9,000 mph).

Supersonic means faster than the speed of sound (duh).

This seems to be the only way to explain measurements of three extrasolar planets that orbit extremely close to their parent stars. With one face to the star, you would think that half the planet is white hot, while the other is much cooler. But strangely, these planets have roughly the same temperature across the entire planet.

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