July 17, 2013
HD 189733b — an exoplanet located about 63 light-years away — has now had its actual visible-light color deduced, thanks to new research done with NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope. If seen directly the exoplanet would appear as a ‘deep blue dot’ — looking a lot like the way that the Earth appears from space. That’s where the similarities end though — HD 189733b is an enormous gas-giant with day time temperatures that soar as high as 2000 degrees Fahrenheit, and winds that howl around the planet at speeds of up to 4500-miles-per-hour. It also seems likely — according to the researchers — that the planet rains molten glass.
The deep cobalt blue color of the planet isn’t the result of a world covered in water like it is on the Earth — HD 189733b is blue as the result of its hazy blow-torched atmosphere and also possibly as a result of high clouds laced with silicate particles. “The condensation temperature of silicates could form very small drops of glass that would scatter blue light more than red light.”
This article was posted: Wednesday, July 17, 2013 at 4:10 pm