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The turbulent atmosphere of a hot, gaseous planet known as HD 80606b is shown in this simulation based on data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. The planet spends most of its time far away from its star, but every 111 days, it swings extremely close to the star, experiencing a massive burst of heat. Spitzer measured the whole heating cycle of this planet, determining its coolest (less than 400 degrees Fahrenheit) and hottest (2,000 degrees Fahrenheit) temperatures.
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., manages the Spitzer Space Telescope mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. Science operations are conducted at the Spitzer Science Center at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. Spacecraft operations are based at Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, Littleton, Colorado. Data are archived at the Infrared Science Archive housed at the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center at Caltech. Caltech manages JPL for NASA.
For more information about the Spitzer mission, visit http://spitzer.caltech.edu and http://www.nasa.gov/spitzer.