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Sizzling Weather On a Dive-Bombing Planet 57

The Bad Astronomer writes "A massive planet orbiting the star HD 80606 is on a roller-coaster orbit: it dive bombs the star, in just 55 days dropping from over 120 million km to just 4 million km from the star's surface! Astronomers used the Spitzer Space Telescope to observe the heat from the planet as it gets blasted by its star, and used that data to make a beautiful computer-modeled image of what the planet must look like. Their results: an ube-rviolent storm that acts as if a bomb were exploded in the planet's atmosphere."

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