Astronomers Find Blue Planet Outside Solar System - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Astronomers Find Blue Planet Outside Solar System

Posted: Updated:

LONDON (AP) - Astronomers have for the first time managed to determine the color of a planet outside our solar system, a blue gas giant 63 light-years away.

Using the Hubble Space Telescope, an international team said the planet known as HD 189733B would look like a deep blue dot if viewed up close.

"Measuring the planet's color is a real first — we have never managed it before with a planet outside our own solar system," Frederic Pont of the University of Exeter in England said Friday.

While Earth looks blue from space because of its oceans, the astronomers said the planet's color was created by a hazy turbulent atmosphere of silicate particles that scatter blue light. To determine the planet's color, the team measured the amount of light reflected off its surface as it passed behind its star.

Discovered in 2005, the planet belongs to a class of giant gas planets called "hot Jupiters" that orbit close to their stars. It has a daytime temperature of around 1,000 degrees Celsius (1,832 F), and the heat causes rocks to evaporate and glass to possibly rain sideways in howling 4,500 mph (about 7,250 kph) winds.

Astronomers chose the planet for observation because of its proximity to Earth and size in relation to the star it orbits. A light-year is nearly 6 trillion miles.

Pont said the technology the astronomers used pushed the Hubble telescope to its limit given the distance and light from other stars obscuring their view.

"People keep coming up with a better way of viewing planets indirectly so I'm sure the technology will eventually improve," Pont said.

HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • National NewsMore>>

  • Mad Minute stories from Thursday, November 16th

    Mad Minute stories from Thursday, November 16th

    Friday, November 17 2017 2:00 AM EST2017-11-17 07:00:20 GMT

    Here are the extended versions of the KHQ Local News 11 at 11 Mad Minute stories from Thursday, November 16th.

    More >>

    Here are the extended versions of the KHQ Local News 11 at 11 Mad Minute stories from Thursday, November 16th.

    More >>
  • Trump to host NCAA champions at White House Friday

    Trump to host NCAA champions at White House Friday

    Friday, November 17 2017 12:05 AM EST2017-11-17 05:05:39 GMT

    WASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump is set to host collegiate sports championship teams at the White House Friday. The White House says NCAA teams will attend a reception at the executive mansion, but has not provided a list of the teams attending. Trump hosted the 2016 NCAA football champion Clemson Tigers at the White House in June. The University of North Carolina's 2017 national championship men's basketball team said earlier this year it could not agree on a d...

    More >>

    WASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump is set to host collegiate sports championship teams at the White House Friday. The White House says NCAA teams will attend a reception at the executive mansion, but has not provided a list of the teams attending. Trump hosted the 2016 NCAA football champion Clemson Tigers at the White House in June. The University of North Carolina's 2017 national championship men's basketball team said earlier this year it could not agree on a d...

    More >>
  • Suspect dances for Texas officers before police dog ends jig

    Suspect dances for Texas officers before police dog ends jig

    Thursday, November 16 2017 8:02 PM EST2017-11-17 01:02:37 GMT
    Suspect dances for Texas officers before police dog ends jigSuspect dances for Texas officers before police dog ends jig

    HOUSTON, Tex. (AP) - A man who led police on a nearly 20-mile chase through Houston was taken into custody only after dancing for a time once he stepped out of his car. The unidentified suspect came to a stop early Thursday before striking spike strips police had laid across Interstate 45. He eventually complied with police orders to step out of his car but rather than lay on the ground, the man began a dance with arms above his head. The episode concluded when a police do...

    More >>

    HOUSTON, Tex. (AP) - A man who led police on a nearly 20-mile chase through Houston was taken into custody only after dancing for a time once he stepped out of his car. The unidentified suspect came to a stop early Thursday before striking spike strips police had laid across Interstate 45. He eventually complied with police orders to step out of his car but rather than lay on the ground, the man began a dance with arms above his head. The episode concluded when a police do...

    More >>
  • Top Stories from KHQHomeMore>>

  • Spokane Valley Detectives arrest third suspect in Bret Snow homicide investigation

    Spokane Valley Detectives arrest third suspect in Bret Snow homicide investigation

    Friday, November 17 2017 2:16 PM EST2017-11-17 19:16:40 GMT

    SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. - Spokane Valley Major Crimes Detectives have made a third arrest in the homicide investigation of Bret Snow.  37-year-old Cheryl L. Sutton was arrested on charges of Leading Organized Crime and Criminal Conspiracy to Commit 1st Degree Murder and 1st Degree Kidnapping in connection to Snow's disappearance.  

    More >>

    SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. - Spokane Valley Major Crimes Detectives have made a third arrest in the homicide investigation of Bret Snow.  37-year-old Cheryl L. Sutton was arrested on charges of Leading Organized Crime and Criminal Conspiracy to Commit 1st Degree Murder and 1st Degree Kidnapping in connection to Snow's disappearance.  

    More >>
  • Sexually explicit photographs distributed and possibly sold in West Spokane County

    Friday, November 17 2017 2:01 PM EST2017-11-17 19:01:42 GMT

    SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. - A juvenile who attends Medical Lake High School is just one of several people being investigated by the Spokane County Sheriff's Sexual Assault Detectives after it was learned log-on information to an internet drive contained sexually explicit photos was being sold. On November 11th, a Spokane County Deputy responded to a residence in Medical Lake after receiving a call about the juvenile and his/her involvement with the internet drive.

    More >>

    SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. - A juvenile who attends Medical Lake High School is just one of several people being investigated by the Spokane County Sheriff's Sexual Assault Detectives after it was learned log-on information to an internet drive contained sexually explicit photos was being sold. On November 11th, a Spokane County Deputy responded to a residence in Medical Lake after receiving a call about the juvenile and his/her involvement with the internet drive.

    More >>
  • Navy issues updated statement 'irresponsible and immature act' after pilots draw obscene image in the sky over Okanogan Co.

    Navy issues updated statement 'irresponsible and immature act' after pilots draw obscene image in the sky over Okanogan Co.

    Friday, November 17 2017 1:49 PM EST2017-11-17 18:49:34 GMT

    OMAK, Wash. - I can picture the Austin Powers bit now.  The people of Omak looking up at the sky and seeing a giant (Fill in the blank innuendo here) just like in 1999's Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me. If you're unfamiliar, I'll save you a Google search.  A simple, yet effectively funny joke.  Except the U.S. Navy doesn't see humor in the real-life version at all.  

    More >>

    OMAK, Wash. - I can picture the Austin Powers bit now.  The people of Omak looking up at the sky and seeing a giant (Fill in the blank innuendo here) just like in 1999's Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me. If you're unfamiliar, I'll save you a Google search.  A simple, yet effectively funny joke.  Except the U.S. Navy doesn't see humor in the real-life version at all.  

    More >>