Did you know that some planets spin backwards? A new study reveals the so called hot Jupiters, reported via Reuters:
Some planets are just flipping backward.
Of the more than 500 planets detected around stars besides our Sun, the vast majority appear to spin the same way the star does, scientists reported on Wednesday in the journal Nature.
But some of these extrasolar planets spin in the opposite direction of the stars they orbit, astronomers found. These strange, backward-spinning planets are usually gassy giants called hot Jupiters, not rocky orbs like Earth.
Besides their backwards twirling, which the astronomers call flipped orbits, these big planets huddle close to their stars, unlike Jupiter, which is about 483 million miles (778 million km) from the Sun, more than five times as distant from the Sun as Earth.
“That’s really weird, and it’s even weirder because the planet is so close to the star,” Frederic Rasio of Northwestern University said in a statement.
“How can one be spinning one way and the other orbiting exactly the other way? It’s crazy. It so obviously violates our most basic picture of planet and star formation.”…
[continues at Reuters]