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Published on Jan 28, 2009
This is a simulated mission to the exoplanet HD 80606 b. HD 80606 b is a giant planet with a comet-like orbit; while it spends most of its time at ~0.8 A.U., it comes within 0.03 A.U. at its closest approach. We used an atmospheric model to simulate the weather patterns during this perilous periastron passage. The planet heats up by roughly 400 degrees, generating winds of over 10,000 mph.