Featured Image: Storms in Hot-Jupiter Atmospheres

Hot Jupiters are giant exoplanets that orbit very close to their host stars, generally in a 1:1 spin–orbit ratio that ensures they always present the same face to their host. How does the atmosphere of a hot Jupiter respond to the bombardment of radiation on only one side of the planet? In a new study led by James Cho (CCA, Flatiron Institute), a team of scientists has conducted detailed simulations to find out. The delicate vorticity maps above (click for a closer look) show the nightside (left) and dayside (right) of a simulated hot Jupiter atmosphere. Cho and collaborators’ high-resolution simulations are designed to accurately capture small-scale eddies and waves that arise in the atmosphere as the unequal heating drives flows. The authors show that intense storms result across the hot Jupiter on both small and large scales, leading to global variability and chaotic mixture of the atmosphere. To learn more about the authors’ results, check out the original article below.


“Storms, Variability, and Multiple Equilibria on Hot Jupiters,” James Y-K. Cho et al 2021 ApJL 913 L32. doi:10.3847/2041-8213/abfd37