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 Friday, May 26th

    Mad Minute stories from Friday, May 26th

    Saturday, May 27 2017 2:00 AM EDT2017-05-27 06:00:13 GMT

    Here are the extended versions of the KHQ Local News 11 at 11 Mad Minute stories from Friday, May 26th.

    More >>

    Here are the extended versions of the KHQ Local News 11 at 11 Mad Minute stories from Friday, May 26th.

    More >>
  • $10,000 bill for getting car stuck in newly poured concrete

    $10,000 bill for getting car stuck in newly poured concrete

    Saturday, May 27 2017 1:02 AM EDT2017-05-27 05:02:32 GMT
    (Mike Palm, The City of Lincoln Public Works and Utilities Department via AP)(Mike Palm, The City of Lincoln Public Works and Utilities Department via AP)

    LINCOLN, Neb,. (AP) - A driver could be facing a $10,000 bill after he plowed into newly poured concrete in Lincoln, Nebraska, and became stuck.      The accident occurred Wednesday on a portion of a road repair project in the state capital. Police spokeswoman Angela Sands said Friday that police won't cite the driver, 19-year-old Shadrach Yasiah. A police incident report says it wasn't obvious that the concrete wasn't dry and that Yasiah 

    More >>

    LINCOLN, Neb,. (AP) - A driver could be facing a $10,000 bill after he plowed into newly poured concrete in Lincoln, Nebraska, and became stuck.      The accident occurred Wednesday on a portion of a road repair project in the state capital. Police spokeswoman Angela Sands said Friday that police won't cite the driver, 19-year-old Shadrach Yasiah. A police incident report says it wasn't obvious that the concrete wasn't dry and that Yasiah 

    More >>
  • Russian bankers sue BuzzFeed over unverified Trump dossier

    Russian bankers sue BuzzFeed over unverified Trump dossier

    Friday, May 26 2017 9:02 PM EDT2017-05-27 01:02:03 GMT

    NEW YORK (AP) - The owners of a Russian bank are suing BuzzFeed for publishing an uncorroborated dossier that alleged they were part of a Russian scheme to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Mikhail Fridman, Petr Aven and German Khan of Alfa Bank filed the defamation lawsuit Friday in Manhattan. They are seeking unspecified damages from BuzzFeed, editor-in-chief Ben Smith, reporter Ken Bensinger and editors Miriam Elder and Mark Schoofs. The ...

    More >>

    NEW YORK (AP) - The owners of a Russian bank are suing BuzzFeed for publishing an uncorroborated dossier that alleged they were part of a Russian scheme to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Mikhail Fridman, Petr Aven and German Khan of Alfa Bank filed the defamation lawsuit Friday in Manhattan. They are seeking unspecified damages from BuzzFeed, editor-in-chief Ben Smith, reporter Ken Bensinger and editors Miriam Elder and Mark Schoofs. The ...

    More >>
  • Top Stories from KHQHomeMore>>

  • Post Falls Police say missing bipolar woman found safe

    Post Falls Police say missing bipolar woman found safe

    Saturday, May 27 2017 1:33 PM EDT2017-05-27 17:33:54 GMT
    Darlene "Dana" FisherDarlene "Dana" Fisher

    POST FALLS, Idaho - Update, Saturday: Post Falls Police report a 67-year-old woman missing since Wednesday has been found. Darlene "Dana" Fisher was safely located by Post Falls Police. Officers thank the community for their help.

    More >>

    POST FALLS, Idaho - Update, Saturday: Post Falls Police report a 67-year-old woman missing since Wednesday has been found. Darlene "Dana" Fisher was safely located by Post Falls Police. Officers thank the community for their help.

    More >>
  • Carcass of 79-foot blue whale washes ashore in California

    Carcass of 79-foot blue whale washes ashore in California

    Saturday, May 27 2017 1:15 PM EDT2017-05-27 17:15:44 GMT

    BOLINAS, Calif. (AP) - The body of a 79-foot (24-meter) blue whale has washed ashore in California's Marin County and experts are trying to determine why it died.  The whale was discovered off Agate Beach in Bolinas on Thursday. Scientists from the Marine Mammal Center say it's a sub-adult female. They collected skin and blubber samples on Friday and plan a full necropsy Saturday.  

    More >>

    BOLINAS, Calif. (AP) - The body of a 79-foot (24-meter) blue whale has washed ashore in California's Marin County and experts are trying to determine why it died.  The whale was discovered off Agate Beach in Bolinas on Thursday. Scientists from the Marine Mammal Center say it's a sub-adult female. They collected skin and blubber samples on Friday and plan a full necropsy Saturday.  

    More >>
  • 2 stabbed to death, 1 injured on Portland train by man hurling racial slurs

    2 stabbed to death, 1 injured on Portland train by man hurling racial slurs

    Saturday, May 27 2017 11:29 AM EDT2017-05-27 15:29:58 GMT

    PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Police in Oregon say two people died and another was hurt in a stabbing on a Portland light-rail train after a man yelled racial slurs at two young Muslim women. The Oregonian/OregonLive reports officers arrested a man Friday afternoon who ran from the train.  Portland police Sgt. Pete Simpson says the assailant on the train was ranting on many topics, using "hate speech or biased language," and turned his focus on the women.

    More >>

    PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Police in Oregon say two people died and another was hurt in a stabbing on a Portland light-rail train after a man yelled racial slurs at two young Muslim women. The Oregonian/OregonLive reports officers arrested a man Friday afternoon who ran from the train.  Portland police Sgt. Pete Simpson says the assailant on the train was ranting on many topics, using "hate speech or biased language," and turned his focus on the women.

    More >>