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, July 20th

    Mad Minute stories from Thursday, July 20th

    Friday, July 21 2017 2:00 AM EDT2017-07-21 06:00:13 GMT
    Mad Minute for 12/30/16Mad Minute for 12/30/16

    Here are the extended versions of the KHQ Local News 11 at 11 Mad Minute stories from Thursday, July 20th.

    More >>

    Here are the extended versions of the KHQ Local News 11 at 11 Mad Minute stories from Thursday, July 20th.

    More >>
  • NOAA locates wreckage of crab fishing vessel off St. George Island, Alaska

    NOAA locates wreckage of crab fishing vessel off St. George Island, Alaska

    Friday, July 21 2017 12:11 AM EDT2017-07-21 04:11:45 GMT
    (NOAA)(NOAA)

    ALASKA - Two NOAA ships, en route to scientific missions in Alaskan waters, helped locate the missing fishing vessel Destination at the request of the U.S. Coast Guard Marine Board of Investigation. The Destination and its six crew members were lost February 11, 2017, while fishing for snow crab northwest of St. George, Alaska. NOAA Ship Oscar Dyson, a fisheries survey vessel, conducted the first survey from April 30 through May 1. The 

    More >>

    ALASKA - Two NOAA ships, en route to scientific missions in Alaskan waters, helped locate the missing fishing vessel Destination at the request of the U.S. Coast Guard Marine Board of Investigation. The Destination and its six crew members were lost February 11, 2017, while fishing for snow crab northwest of St. George, Alaska. NOAA Ship Oscar Dyson, a fisheries survey vessel, conducted the first survey from April 30 through May 1. The 

    More >>
  • Alexa, turn up my Kenmore AC; Sears cuts a deal with Amazon

    Alexa, turn up my Kenmore AC; Sears cuts a deal with Amazon

    Thursday, July 20 2017 6:16 PM EDT2017-07-20 22:16:28 GMT
    (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

    HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. (AP) - Sears will begin selling its appliances on Amazon.com, including smart appliances that can be synced with Amazon's voice assistant, Alexa. The announcement Thursday sent shares of Sears soaring almost 11 percent. The tie-up with the internet behemoth could give shares of the storied retailer one of its biggest one-day percentage gains ever. Sears, which also owns Kmart, said that its Kenmore Smart appliances will be fully integrated with Amazon's Alexa,

    More >>

    HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. (AP) - Sears will begin selling its appliances on Amazon.com, including smart appliances that can be synced with Amazon's voice assistant, Alexa. The announcement Thursday sent shares of Sears soaring almost 11 percent. The tie-up with the internet behemoth could give shares of the storied retailer one of its biggest one-day percentage gains ever. Sears, which also owns Kmart, said that its Kenmore Smart appliances will be fully integrated with Amazon's Alexa,

    More >>
  • Top Stories from KHQHomeMore>>

  • Mad Minute stories from Thursday, July 20th

    Mad Minute stories from Thursday, July 20th

    Friday, July 21 2017 2:00 AM EDT2017-07-21 06:00:13 GMT
    Mad Minute for 12/30/16Mad Minute for 12/30/16

    Here are the extended versions of the KHQ Local News 11 at 11 Mad Minute stories from Thursday, July 20th.

    More >>

    Here are the extended versions of the KHQ Local News 11 at 11 Mad Minute stories from Thursday, July 20th.

    More >>
  • Passing driver saves woman, six kids in car crash on Highway 2

    Passing driver saves woman, six kids in car crash on Highway 2

    Friday, July 21 2017 12:55 AM EDT2017-07-21 04:55:27 GMT

    LINCOLN COUNTY, Wash. - Lincoln County Sheriff's Office is crediting a total stranger from preventing a very possible tragedy. Deputies say a woman was driving a van with 6 young children when she fell asleep on Highway 2 near Davenport, driving off the road and into a pond. As most of the van went under, a passing driver pulled over, waded into the deep water, and helped get them to safety. First responders rushed to the scene.  No one was injured.  

    More >>

    LINCOLN COUNTY, Wash. - Lincoln County Sheriff's Office is crediting a total stranger from preventing a very possible tragedy. Deputies say a woman was driving a van with 6 young children when she fell asleep on Highway 2 near Davenport, driving off the road and into a pond. As most of the van went under, a passing driver pulled over, waded into the deep water, and helped get them to safety. First responders rushed to the scene.  No one was injured.  

    More >>
  • N. Idaho Violent Crimes Task Force asks for public's help finding wanted fugitive

    N. Idaho Violent Crimes Task Force asks for public's help finding wanted fugitive

    Friday, July 21 2017 12:44 AM EDT2017-07-21 04:44:53 GMT

    KOOTENAI COUNTY, Idaho - The North Idaho Violent Crimes Task Force (NIVCTF) is seeking information leading to the arrest of 27-year-old Mallory Ann Helling. Helling is being sought based on a Kootenai County felony warrant for possession of meth with the intent to deliver. Helling is 5’3 tall, 135 lbs with brown eyes and brown hair. She was last known to be living in Post Falls, ID. Anyone with information regarding Helling should call the NIVCTF at 208-665-4455. 

    More >>

    KOOTENAI COUNTY, Idaho - The North Idaho Violent Crimes Task Force (NIVCTF) is seeking information leading to the arrest of 27-year-old Mallory Ann Helling. Helling is being sought based on a Kootenai County felony warrant for possession of meth with the intent to deliver. Helling is 5’3 tall, 135 lbs with brown eyes and brown hair. She was last known to be living in Post Falls, ID. Anyone with information regarding Helling should call the NIVCTF at 208-665-4455. 

    More >>