Wednesday, January 14, 2015

U of A Watches for Extrasolar Storms

Staff Writer, Nathaniel Diaz
Meteorology / Astrophysics 

In the article, Extrasolar Storms: How's the Weather Way Out There?, the University of Arizona describes how NASA's telescopes can combine their data to observe and catalog the weather on distant worlds:
Orbiting the Earth 353 miles above the ground, the Hubble Space Telescope silently pivots toward its new target. At the same time, flying 93 million miles away in interplanetary space, NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope receives commands to point itself at the same celestial target.

Precisely synchronized, both telescopes begin recording light at the same time from the same distant object: an exotic, purple-colored, cloudy, Jupiter-size world 24 light-years away, known as a brown dwarf. Using simultaneous observations from the two space telescopes, UA astronomers are tracking the evolution of the swirling clouds and storm systems in unprecedented detail on this brown dwarf and five others like it.
To read more of this article, visit the link below.

Source: UA News