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Scientists discovered a planet ravaged by storms of rubies and sapphires

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WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF

  • This is the first time that we have observed weather on another planet, the fact that the clouds are made from rubies and sapphires just makes it alot cooler


 

Elon Musk wants to travel to Mars, but I think he should seriously reconsider after British astronomers struck gold, well, rubies and sapphires at least, when they discovered that a gas giant more than 1,000 light years away from Earth is being ravaged by massive storms that are likely made of Corundum, the same stuff the two precious gems are made out of.

The planet, which has the catchy name of HAT-P-7b, is 16 times larger than Earth, and researchers at the University of Warwick determined that it’s most likely affected by massive weather changes by monitoring the shifts in light that gets reflected from the planet’s atmosphere. They found that HAT-P-7b has an equatorial jet with “dramatically variable wind speeds,” and at its fastest, these winds surge around the planet, creating devastating storms.

 

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Those storms, though, are probably beautiful, since they’re made of the gem dust but alas, nobody would be able to observe them and live, because HAT-P-7b is a tidally locked planet that doesn’t spin, meaning one side is always facing its star. Researchers say the hot side of the planet would be nearly 4,700 degrees Fahrenheit.

“We expect clouds to form on the cold night side of the planet, but they would evaporate quickly on the hot dayside,” explained Dr. David Armstrong, a member of Warwicks Astrophysics Group.

These results show that strong winds circle the planet, transporting clouds from the night side to the day side,” he continued, “the winds change speed dramatically, leading to huge cloud formations building up then dying away.”

The discovery marks the first time that scientists have observed weather on a gas giant outside of the solar system. Yes, we have Jupiter’s Great Red Spot in our own galactic backyard, but as impressive as it is, that storm isn’t made of anything you could stuff into a piece of bling. HAT-P-7b might be the winner here.

About author

Matthew Griffin

Matthew Griffin, described as “The Adviser behind the Advisers” and a “Young Kurzweil,” is the founder and CEO of the World Futures Forum and the 311 Institute, a global Futures and Deep Futures consultancy working between the dates of 2020 to 2070, and is an award winning futurist, and author of “Codex of the Future” series. Regularly featured in the global media, including AP, BBC, CNBC, Discovery, RT, and Viacom, Matthew’s ability to identify, track, and explain the impacts of hundreds of revolutionary emerging technologies on global culture, industry and society, is unparalleled. Recognised for the past six years as one of the world’s foremost futurists, innovation and strategy experts Matthew is an international speaker who helps governments, investors, multi-nationals and regulators around the world envision, build and lead an inclusive, sustainable future. A rare talent Matthew’s recent work includes mentoring Lunar XPrize teams, re-envisioning global education and training with the G20, and helping the world’s largest organisations envision and ideate the future of their products and services, industries, and countries. Matthew's clients include three Prime Ministers and several governments, including the G7, Accenture, Bain & Co, BCG, Credit Suisse, Dell EMC, Dentons, Deloitte, E&Y, GEMS, Huawei, JPMorgan Chase, KPMG, Lego, McKinsey, PWC, Qualcomm, SAP, Samsung, Sopra Steria, T-Mobile, and many more.

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