It seems impossible, but it's true - a recent study has confirmed that a distant exoplanet has winds that can reach 5,400 miles per hour.
Stranger things have happened, but it’s going to take a lot to top this. Scientists from the University of Warwick’s Astrophysics group have discovered one of the most intense windstorms ever observed in the universe on a planet called HD 189733b.
As we reported earlier, the winds on HD 189733b are extremely fast; in some regions, they reached speeds of more than 2 kilometers per second, which equals roughly 5,400 miles per hour. This is faster than any wind ever recorded on Earthy by a factor of 20.
The planet is extremely close to its host star, which may have something to do with how fast the wind travels there. The heat from its sun brings temperatures on HD 1897733b near 1,200 degrees Celsius. This drives some pretty extreme weather patterns on the distant world.
The planet is a gas giant, much like Jupiter or Saturn. Unlike the gas giants in our solar system, however, HD 1897733b is 180 times closer to its host star than Jupiter is, which leads to some seriously whacky weather.
With daytime temperatures on the exoplanet reaching 3,700 degrees F and nighttime temperatures dipping to 3,200 degrees F, the 500 degree shift causes the air to move through the planet’s atmosphere at a rapid pace.
A press release from the University of Warwick outlining the details of the study can be found here.