Feeling the heat of an extrasolar planet | Science News

ADVERTISEMENT

SUPPORT SCIENCE NEWS

Science News is a nonprofit.

Help us keep you informed.


News

Feeling the heat of an extrasolar planet

By
11:50am, October 24, 2006

Astronomers have for the first time measured the temperature variation between the lit and unlit sides of a planet outside the solar system—a difference that's, literally, night and day.

Researchers used NASA's infrared Spitzer Space Telescope, which measures the heat emitted from distant objects, to study a massive extrasolar planet that lies 40 light-years from Earth. This so-called hot Jupiter, known as Upsilon Andromedae b, orbits its parent star at only about a tenth of the distance that Mercury resides from the sun.

Joe Harrington of the University of Central Florida in Orlando and his colleagues found that the temperature difference between the icy, dark side and

This article is only available to Science News subscribers. Already a subscriber? Log in now. Or subscribe today for full access.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from Science News

From the Nature Index Paid Content