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.

  • National NewsMore>>

  • UPDATE: Joan Rivers 'Resting Comfortably' at Mount Sinai in New York

    UPDATE: Joan Rivers 'Resting Comfortably' at Mount Sinai in New York

    Friday, August 29 2014 12:45 AM EDT2014-08-29 04:45:02 GMT
    NEW YORK (AP) - Comedian Joan Rivers is in a New York City hospital, according to police and hospital officials who say she was rushed there from a doctor's office after going into cardiac arrest.Rivers' daughter later issued a statement about her mother's condition.More >>
    NEW YORK (AP) - Comedian Joan Rivers is in a New York City hospital, according to police and hospital officials who say she was rushed there from a doctor's office after going into cardiac arrest.Rivers' daughter later issued a statement about her mother's condition.
    More >>
  • VA: No proof delays in veteran care caused hospital deaths

    VA: No proof delays in veteran care caused hospital deaths

    Tuesday, August 26 2014 9:11 PM EDT2014-08-27 01:11:37 GMT
    KHQ.COM- The Department of Veterans Affairs says there's no proof that delays in care caused any deaths at the VA hospital in Phoenix, Ariz.Revelations that as many as 40 veterans died while awaiting care rocked the agency this past spring, bringing to light scheduling problems and allegations of misconduct at other hospitals as well.NBC News obtained a draft report from the VA's Office of Inspector General Tuesday. The draft report says while investigators found substantial delays in care an...More >>
    KHQ.COM- The Department of Veterans Affairs says there's no proof that delays in care caused any deaths at the VA hospital in Phoenix, Ariz.Revelations that as many as 40 veterans died while awaiting care rocked the agency this past spring, bringing to light scheduling problems and allegations of misconduct at other hospitals as well.NBC News obtained a draft report from the VA's Office of Inspector General Tuesday. The draft report says while investigators found substantial delays in care an...More >>
  • UPDATE: Sergeant who shot herself at Fort Lee dies

    UPDATE: Sergeant who shot herself at Fort Lee dies

    Monday, August 25 2014 6:58 PM EDT2014-08-25 22:58:27 GMT
    Police officer patrols the entrance of Fort Lee in VirginiaPolice officer patrols the entrance of Fort Lee in Virginia
    FORT LEE, Va. (AP) - A commanding general at a Virginia Army base says an enraged soldier with a gun barricaded herself in an office, then shot herself in the head as officials tried to negotiate with her.More >>
    FORT LEE, Va. (AP) - A commanding general at a Virginia Army base says an enraged soldier with a gun barricaded herself in an office, then shot herself in the head as officials tried to negotiate with her. Maj. Gen. Stephen R. Lyons says the soldier went on a rampage, throwing objects. More >>
  • Top Stories from KHQTop StoriesMore>>

  • Early morning house fire near Gary Middle School

    Early morning house fire near Gary Middle School

    Friday, August 29 2014 8:41 AM EDT2014-08-29 12:41:20 GMT
    KHQ.com - Spokane Firefighters responded to a house fire early Friday morning on the 800 block of East Joseph.Crews were called to the scene at 4:45am Friday near Gary Middle School. Firefighters were able to knock the fire down quickly.More >>
    KHQ.com - Spokane Firefighters responded to a house fire early Friday morning on the 800 block of East Joseph.Crews were called to the scene at 4:45am Friday near Gary Middle School. Firefighters were able to knock the fire down quickly.More >>
  • PRIEST LAKE AUCTION: Most families retain lots that were in their family for generations

    PRIEST LAKE AUCTION: Most families retain lots that were in their family for generations

    Friday, August 29 2014 2:39 AM EDT2014-08-29 06:39:26 GMT
    PRIEST LAKE, Idaho- The Idaho Department of Lands earned nearly $27 million for Idaho's public school system in the Thursday auction of 59 lakefront lots. 58 of the 59 lots sold went to the original land owners. INSIDE: List of auctioned lots and winning bidsMore >>
    PRIEST LAKE, Idaho- The Idaho Department of Lands earned nearly $27 million for Idaho's public school system in the Thursday auction of 59 lakefront lots. 58 of the 59 lots sold went to the original land owners. INSIDE: List of auctioned lots and winning bidsMore >>
  • UPDATE: Joan Rivers 'Resting Comfortably' at Mount Sinai in New York

    UPDATE: Joan Rivers 'Resting Comfortably' at Mount Sinai in New York

    Friday, August 29 2014 12:45 AM EDT2014-08-29 04:45:02 GMT
    NEW YORK (AP) - Comedian Joan Rivers is in a New York City hospital, according to police and hospital officials who say she was rushed there from a doctor's office after going into cardiac arrest.Rivers' daughter later issued a statement about her mother's condition.More >>
    NEW YORK (AP) - Comedian Joan Rivers is in a New York City hospital, according to police and hospital officials who say she was rushed there from a doctor's office after going into cardiac arrest.Rivers' daughter later issued a statement about her mother's condition.
    More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KHQ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.