Do we really know anything?
Astronomy News – The more astronomers look around on the human “Journey to the Beginning of Space and Time, the more they realise we really have only scratched the surface of the known universe, and we really know nothing. This is exciting, for sure, for astronomers viewing the universe, but it means space scientists are constantly reworking theories and ideas concerning the universe and the way things really work. Astronomers using NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope to view a distant gas-giant planet called Upsilon Andromedae b recently noticed a warm spot on this planet’s surface that according to previous ideas seems to be a bit out of position. Upsilon Andromedae b circles very closely to its parent star and belongs to a class of planets astronomers refer to as hot Jupiters, because of the intense temperatures and large, gaseous makeup of these planets. One face of this planet is always directly facing the intense heat produced by the sun and because of this, it would seem logical that the hottest parts of this planet should be directly facing the sun. Previous views of hot Jupiters have shown astronomers that it was possible for hot spots on these types of planets to be slightly shifted away from the sun’s direct heat. The viewing of this hot spot on Upsilon Andromedae b using the Spitzer Space Telescope has thrown a wrench into this idea, though, because the hot spot on Upsilon Andromedae b, is offset by a whopping 80 degrees, and sits practically on the other side of the planet.
Every time we get one answer, ten more questions appear
This is very disconcerting to astronomers who were thinking they were beginning to figure a few things out about hot-Jupiter type planets. Scientists are presently working at trying to figure out how the hottest spot on Upsilon Andromedae b could be so far from the main source of heat in the solar system? In this effort they’re currently looking at similar hot Jupiters to Upsilon Andromedae b, to see if they can find any clue to this mystery, and we’ll keep you updated as the human “Journey to the Beginning of Space and Time continues.
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