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, August 18th

    Mad Minute stories from Friday, August 18th

    Saturday, August 19 2017 2:00 AM EDT2017-08-19 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 Friday, August 18th.

    More >>

    Here are the extended versions of the KHQ Local News 11 at 11 Mad Minute stories from Friday, August 18th.

    More >>
  • The Latest: Florida authorities say 2 police officers shot

    The Latest: Florida authorities say 2 police officers shot

    Saturday, August 19 2017 12:39 AM EDT2017-08-19 04:39:16 GMT

     KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) - The Latest on police officers shot in Florida (all times local): 12:30 a.m. Authorities in northern Florida say two police officers have been shot in Jacksonsville. The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said on its official Twitter site that two police officers were shot in the west side of the city. The Sheriff's Office later tweeted: "Two police officers shot: If you are inclined to do so, say a prayer for our two #JSO officers that have been 

    More >>

     KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) - The Latest on police officers shot in Florida (all times local): 12:30 a.m. Authorities in northern Florida say two police officers have been shot in Jacksonsville. The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said on its official Twitter site that two police officers were shot in the west side of the city. The Sheriff's Office later tweeted: "Two police officers shot: If you are inclined to do so, say a prayer for our two #JSO officers that have been 

    More >>
  • Details of 'Deadpool 2' stuntwoman's death released

    Details of 'Deadpool 2' stuntwoman's death released

    Friday, August 18 2017 8:02 PM EDT2017-08-19 00:02:55 GMT

    VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) - British Columbia's workplace safety agency has released the first official account of a "Deadpool 2" stuntwoman's death. The initial report by WorkSafeBC on Friday confirms witness accounts to Monday's accident during filming of the sequel to actor Ryan Reynolds' popular superhero movie. The report says SJ Harris had been rehearsing a stunt that involved driving a motorcycle out the open 

    More >>

    VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) - British Columbia's workplace safety agency has released the first official account of a "Deadpool 2" stuntwoman's death. The initial report by WorkSafeBC on Friday confirms witness accounts to Monday's accident during filming of the sequel to actor Ryan Reynolds' popular superhero movie. The report says SJ Harris had been rehearsing a stunt that involved driving a motorcycle out the open 

    More >>
  • Top Stories from KHQHomeMore>>

  • Dutch Bros. recalls eclipse glasses

    Dutch Bros. recalls eclipse glasses

    Monday, August 21 2017 9:50 AM EDT2017-08-21 13:50:39 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Dutch Bros is recalling solar eclipse glasses recently given away at their coffee stands.  Late Sunday night the company posted the recall on their Facebook page, citing the certification of the glasses as the reason. The company said they purchased the glasses after receiving ISO compliance from the manufacturer, but later decided to issue the recall.

    More >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Dutch Bros is recalling solar eclipse glasses recently given away at their coffee stands.  Late Sunday night the company posted the recall on their Facebook page, citing the certification of the glasses as the reason. The company said they purchased the glasses after receiving ISO compliance from the manufacturer, but later decided to issue the recall.

    More >>
  • Security cameras catch stranger touching himself in Spokane woman's backyard

    Security cameras catch stranger touching himself in Spokane woman's backyard

    Sunday, August 20 2017 8:27 PM EDT2017-08-21 00:27:40 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - One family is absolutely shocked after what they found a man doing in their backyard. Denise says she was at home doing her nails, when her daughter Jenay took the dog outside to go to the bathroom. “The dog charged and chased something out of the yard,” she says. They noticed a shadow so they went to review the surveillance video. 

    More >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - One family is absolutely shocked after what they found a man doing in their backyard. Denise says she was at home doing her nails, when her daughter Jenay took the dog outside to go to the bathroom. “The dog charged and chased something out of the yard,” she says. They noticed a shadow so they went to review the surveillance video. 

    More >>
  • One couple's special eclipse plan in Spokane

    One couple's special eclipse plan in Spokane

    Sunday, August 20 2017 7:05 PM EDT2017-08-20 23:05:21 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - What are you doing on the day of the eclipse? Most are probably just going to view it, but one couple wanted to make it extra special. They’re getting married in Spokane on Monday. Ralph Fishburn is the officiant of the wedding. He’s done unique weddings before, including one at the start line of Bloomsday.

    More >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - What are you doing on the day of the eclipse? Most are probably just going to view it, but one couple wanted to make it extra special. They’re getting married in Spokane on Monday. Ralph Fishburn is the officiant of the wedding. He’s done unique weddings before, including one at the start line of Bloomsday.

    More >>