5400 MPH wind speeds: Exoplanet HD 189733b

Published: November 17, 2015

5400 MPH wind speeds: Exoplanet HD 189733b, You wouldn’t want to get caught outside when a storm on HD 189733b gets going. The planet, which is located around 63 light years away from constellation Vulpecula, is measured to have speeds of up to a massive 5,400 miles per hour, which is 20 times faster than anything that has been experienced on Earth.

The winds were measured by scientists at the University of Warwick, who measured wind speeds on both the night and the day side of the planet. These particular speeds were measured for winds going from the day to the night side.

“HD 189733b’s velocity was measured using high resolution spectroscopy of the Sodium absorption featured in its atmosphere. As parts of HD 189733b’s atmosphere move towards or away from the Earth the Doppler effect changes the wavelength of this feature, which allows the velocity to be measured,” said Tom Louden, from the University of Warwick, in a statement.

The fastest winds ever recorded on Earth were recorded during tornadoes, and measured as much as 253 miles per hour. During a hurricane, wind speeds are put into one of five categories. Category one constitutes speeds of between 74 and 95 miles per hour. Category two is between 96 and 110 miles per hour, with category three being from 111 to 129 miles per hour. Category four is 130 to 156 miles per hour, and lastly category five speeds of over 157 miles per hour. The fastest speed recorded on Earth put that particular storm in category five, and the speeds on HD 189733b are obviously above and beyond these categories.

In a category five hurricane, people and animals are at very high risk of being injured or killed by flying debris, even if those people are in mobile homes or framed homes. It is highly likely that the destruction of mobile homes will occur and that framed homes will experience total roof failure. Trees are expected to fall over, and the damage done to structures is expected to be very large. So, you can only imagine what things would look like at 5,400 miles per hour. Winds like this could level a city, even one as big as New York City.


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