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How Days And Nights Might Be On Distant Jupiters

First Posted: Oct 19, 2016 06:26 AM EDT
Days and nights on large exoplanets are much different from what is seen even within our solar syatem.
Days and nights on large exoplanets are much different from what is seen even within our solar syatem.
(CrashCourse/YouTube)

People on Earth take for granted about days and nights are here. Most people don't even realize much about how much time one day on Earth has. However other planets have different lengths of days, depending on their size. Scientists speculate how the days and nights are in planets as large Jupiter.

There has been a number of planets that have been discovered recently, and a good number of them as well are giant ones like Jupiter. While they might be large, they are also too far from the Earth. This leaves astronomers to speculate how time and conditions are on such planets.

Some of these large planets orbit close to their stars and are referred to as Hot Jupiters, according to Phys Org. These planets were the first to be discovered as exoplanets, or planets that are outside our solar system. With their closeness to their stars, their surface would be more like how Mercury would be than Jupiter itself.

A likely scenario on these planets is that clouds form on the side away from the star, as the Daily Mail reports. This is because cloud formation depends on the temperature. The side facing the star would be so hot that any cloud would immediately dissipate, while the other side would be cool enough for clouds to form. This is more likely on planets that are much cooler than those that are extremely hot.

The giant planets have been observed to be tidally locked as well. One side is always facing the star, while the other side is always in darkness. Extreme temperatures then can be expected on both sides of the planets.

Temperatures on the planets that orbit close to their stars can reach 2,400 degrees Fahrenheit. And that's on the cooler ones. Higher temperatures are expected on planets much closer and much hotter. Time is also much shorter, with one year being the equivalent of only a few days here on Earth, since the planets are much closer to their stars.

Modelling the planets have been easy using data from global circulation models. Light detected from the giant exoplanets were then compared to these circulation models. Researchers have found out that by doing this some of the phase curves were caused by heat, and some caused by light reflected by clouds.

"The day-night radiation contrast is, in face, easy to model," said Vivien Parmentier, NASA Sagan fellow and postdoctoral researcher from the University of Arizona, Tucson. He also said that cloud formation on the exoplanets is much different than what is known even on our solar system.

 Recently also a binary star system has been observed in the process of forming planets.

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