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HAT-P-2b: SEVERE STORM WARNING

May 4th, 2007

Jonathan Langton’s hydrodynamics code has just finished a simulation of the atmospheric dynamics on HAT-P-2b. The short orbital period and the high orbital eccentricity conspire to make this world the stormiest exoplanet found to date. This planet should definitely be observed before Spitzer’s cryogen runs out.

I’ll post our more detailed analysis, along with the predicted light curves in the various Spitzer bands very shortly. In the meantime, however, here are two animations (HATa.mov and HATb.mov) showing the temperature over the planetary surface. The temperature scale runs from a (comparatively) mild 950K to a scorching-hot 2170K. The animation runs through two orbital periods of the planet, and thus covers ~6 rotation periods. The animations are shown from the point of view of a camera fixed above one spot on the planetary surface, one above the “eastern” hemisphere, the other above the “western” hemisphere. They work best when looped. If you’re a connoisseur, please click here for a .pdf-format description of our numerical model.

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