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by M.G. Siegler

A Constant Rush of Hot Wind

Speaking of space and the Moon, The Economist highlighted something interesting about the newly-discovered Earth-like planets:

That is because TRAPPIST-1's planets are unlike Earth in one important way. Their proximity to their star means that all seven are thought to be tidally locked—in other words, their orbits and rotational periods are synchronised such that they always show the same face to their parent star, in the same way that the Moon does to the Earth. On an airless world, that would leave one side baking while the other froze, with perhaps a thin strip mild enough for water. On a planet with an atmosphere, the effects are less clear, though climatic models suggest it would cause a constant rush of wind from the hot side to the cool, helping to smooth out the temperature differences between the two hemispheres.



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