5,400 MPH winds blast exoplanet

Mark A. Garlick/University of Warwick

We won't be colonizing this one first! Exoplanet HD189733b, previously determined to contain water in its atmosphere, is blasted by 2 kilometers-per-second winds, say researchers at the University of Warwick.

Twenty times faster than the highest wind speeds recorded on Earth, the 5,400 MPH gales are caused by the distant world's proximity to its star. Though sightly larger than Jupiter, it orbits 180 times closer, whirling around HD189733 at a distance of 2.8 million miles.

In our solar system, even baking-hot Mercury has 36 million miles between it and the Sun.

Temperatures on HD189733b are thought to exceed 1,800 °C, but the presence of water increases hopes that it will be found on more Earthlike worlds.