However, Andromedae b's warmest region is located a whopping 80 degrees away from the star-facing side of the world. This throws the "strong wind" theory into doubt; exoplanet models cannot explain this kind of offset.
"We really didn't expect to find a hot spot with such a large offset," said Ian Crossfield, lead author of a new paper about the discovery appearing in the Astrophysical Journal. "It's clear that we understand even less about the atmospheric energetics of hot Jupiters than we thought we did."
Put simply, if you were a high-temperature tolerant being, you wouldn't want to be floating in the gas giant's atmosphere during sunrise or sunset, you might burn up. Oddly, sitting in the atmosphere with the star directly overhead would be cooler.
Andromedae b speeds around its star with an orbital period of only 4.6 days. It orbits so closely that it is "tidally locked" to the star; one side of the exoplanet is in constant daylight whereas the opposite side is in constant night.
Spitzer analyzed the infrared light being emitted over one whole orbit in February 2009. As the exoplanet orbited the star from the perspective of Spitzer, the space telescope was able to monitor the light from the whole system as the exoplanet passed in front, to the side, and behind the star.