Geek Trivia

The Strongest Winds In Our Solar System Are Found On?

The Abbreviation For Laughter Used In Japanese Message Boards and Chat Rooms Is?

Answer: Neptune

If getting your face ripped clean off by a screaming wind storm is on your bucket list, well you’d better start building a rocket. The strongest winds found on any planet in our solar system are found on Neptune. Wind speeds there reach up to 1,340 miles per hour (more than twice the speed of a commercial jet and approximately the same speed as the iconic Concorde supersonic airliner).

It would be easy to assume the fastest winds would be located on a hot planet close to the sun, but the chill of Neptune (where atmospheric temperatures dip as low as -366 degrees Fahrenheit in the upper layers of the atmosphere) is a key component. The extremely low temperature combined with rapid condensation and movement of gases yield a very thin (for the size of the planet) band of highly active gas roughly 600 miles deep. This band of gas accelerates around the planet in a, again thanks to the cold temperatures, nearly frictionless environment.

Image courtesy of Voyager 2/NASA.