ET Weather Roundup
October 23, 2009
The weather on planet COROT-7b calls for pebble showers leading to a rocky downpour.
BOB HIRSHON (host):
A forecast of falling rocks. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.
The weather forecast for newly-discovered planet COROT-7b includes pebble showers. The planet orbits so close to its sun that temperatures top 4000 degrees Fahrenheit, creating an atmosphere of rock vapor. According to computer models created by scientists at Washington University in St. Louis, this rock vapor rises and condenses into rock clouds which go on to rain pebbles.
Back in our own solar system, scientists at Caltech report that levels of cosmic rays created by super novas, are now at their highest point in decades. That’s because the sun’s magnetic field, which normally protects us from them, is in one of its periodic lulls. Fortunately, earth’s magnetic field and atmosphere also protect us, but astronauts in space will have to take precautions. I’m Bob Hirshon for AAAS, the Science Society.