From ancient byways to modern highways, glimpses of faith are everywhere...

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

HD 189733b: Packs a whallop

Watery Doppler Effect    (Photo by Zatonyi Sandor)
Folks here on terra firma call Chicago “The Windy City,” but they ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

Reports are now in that Exoplanet HD 189733b is harboring winds of up to 5,400 miles per hour.  Newsmax states that this is “20 times faster than any wind speed recorded on Earth.”

How can winds be measured that far away?  No problem:  All you need is a High Accuracy Radial Velocity Planet, and folks in La Silla, Chile happen to have one.

The same wavy Doppler effect that we see on ubiquitous weather channels is part of this process.  HD 189733b’s velocity was determined through the use of “high-resolution spectroscopy of the sodium absorption featured in its atmosphere.”

Got that?  The quiz will be next week.

Copyright November 17, 2015 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

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