Of the roughly 1,800 exoplanets detected as of my writing this, I find few as weird or extreme as HD 80606b. Seen here at a distance of roughly 230,000 km from its turbulent cloud tops, the eccentric super-Jovian has periastron, the point of closest approach to its parent star, designated HD 80606. HD 80606b's orbit shares more in common with that of a comet than your average planet. With an eccentricity of 0.9336, it's distance from its star varies by a factor of 30 during its 111 day orbit. The inward plunge toward its parent star is so violent that in the six hours preceding periastron its sun will grow to cover 30 times it's apparent size at apastron (the point of greatest separation). During this period the temperature at the cloud tops would skyrocket from 500 to 1,200 degrees Celsius.
This sudden and intense heating triggers a truly extraterrestrial phenomenon, a "shock-wave storm". Produced by the stark temperature differential between the day and night sides of the planet, the shock-wave storm generates a tremendous flow of incandescently hot supersonic winds which whip along the equatorial belt at truly fantastic speeds in excess of 4.8 km per second (17,280 km/h).
The infernal proximity to its sun also bathes the planet in gales of solar radiation. Somewhat deflected by its magnetic field a torrent of highly charged particles move down the magnetic lines of force towards the poles where they collide with gas molecules in the upper atmosphere producing visible light and the auroras which engulf the planet right down to the equator.
The cause of this world's hellish fate can be seen as a bright star near the centre of the image. Known as HD 80607, it is the second member of this binary star system, a fellow sun-like companion some 214 trillion kilometres or 1,200 AU away. Shining with the brilliance of the full Moon, HD 80607 is a stone's throw away by cosmic standards. It's gravitational influence is great enough to affect the orbit of HD 80606b, occasionally squeezing and pulling it into a new and unpredictable orbit.