By Mike Wall
Astronomers have measured the rotation rate of an alien planet for the first time ever, finding that a huge Jupiter-like world called Beta Pictoris b has a day lasting just eight hours.
The equator of Beta Pictoris b, a gas giant about 10 times more massive than Jupiter, is moving at about 62,000 mph (100,000 km/h), researchers said — far faster than that of any planet in our solar system. In fact, Beta Pictoris b is the fastest-spinning planet yet seen.
In comparison, Jupiter's equator is traveling at about 29,000 mph (47,000 km/h), while Earth's is moving at just 1,060 mph (1,700 km/h). Days on these two familiar planets last about 10 hours and 24 hours, respectively. . . .
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