Using data from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, an international team of astronomers has detected atmospheric variability on an exoplanet called WASP-121 b. The team analyzed observations taken with Hubble over several years and used computer simulations to demonstrate that the observed variations in the atmosphere could be explained by weather patterns.
WASP-121 b, also known as Tylos, is a Jupiter-sized exoplanet located about 880 light-years from Earth. Taking only 30 hours to complete one orbit around its host star, the planet is so close to the star that it is almost torn apart by gravitational forces. Additionally, the exoplanet is tidally locked to its star, meaning that the same hemisphere always faces the star and gets extremely hot from the constant exposure to the star’s ultraviolet light.