Astronomers have seen planets in other star systems. The planets are so far though that not much is known about them. However, now scientists discover weather patterns on a giant planet, which might give people some idea how planets are like in other star systems.
The planet being studied is a6 times more massive than the Earth. It is also very far, at around 1,000 light years from the Earth. Even though it is far, astronomers have been able to make out the planet's weather patterns.
The planet is a gas giant called HAT-P-7b. Weather on the planet can be fierce, as it has strong winds moving across the planet. This also likely would produce large storms. Researchers from the University of Warwick have been able to see the weather patterns on the planet by monitoring light reflected on its atmosphere.
Equatorial jet streams are moving the clouds along. The jets have different wind speeds, which would also give the clouds different views. The researchers speculate that the clouds are made of corundum, the same mineral that makes up ruby and sapphire, according to the University of Warwick's site.
Dr. David Armstrong and the Warwick Astrophysics Group has discovered the weather patterns on HAT-P-7b. The group has used the NASA Kepler satellite telescope to study the planet. Through the Kepler telescope, they have discovered that the planet's weather is changing all the time.
The planet is not likely to support life, though, as Science Daily reports. Its weather system is likely violent to prevent any life form to evolve. One side of the planet is also tidally locked to its star. This means that only one side of the planet faces the star, while the other half would be in total darkness.
Wind speeds on the planet are so fast that cloud formations do not stay for so long. Clouds will form and then would be swept away by the planet's winds. Scientists discover weather patterns on a giant planet, the first time it has been seen outside of the solar system. Also, a young star has been seen with planet-forming rings around it.