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>>

  • Hamas agrees to 24-hour holiday truce in Gaza war

    Hamas agrees to 24-hour holiday truce in Gaza war

    Sunday, July 27 2014 10:36 AM EDT2014-07-27 14:36:04 GMT
    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) - Hamas says it has agreed to a 24-hour humanitarian truce in the Gaza war ahead of a major Muslim holiday. Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said the truce would go into effect at 2 p.m. Sunday. The three-day Eid al-Fitr holiday, which caps the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, is expected to begin Monday or Tuesday, depending on the sighting of the new moon.More >>
    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) - Hamas says it has agreed to a 24-hour humanitarian truce in the Gaza war ahead of a major Muslim holiday. Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said the truce would go into effect at 2 p.m. Sunday. The three-day Eid al-Fitr holiday, which caps the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, is expected to begin Monday or Tuesday, depending on the sighting of the new moon.More >>
  • Dutch: 1st victim identified from Flight 17

    Dutch: 1st victim identified from Flight 17

    Saturday, July 26 2014 5:55 PM EDT2014-07-26 21:55:02 GMT
    THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) - The Dutch government says the first victim has been identified from the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 disaster.The name and sex of the victim, a Dutch national, weren't released. The government said Saturday the next of kin and mayor of the victim's hometown have been informed.More >>
    THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) - The Dutch government says the first victim has been identified from the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 disaster.The name and sex of the victim, a Dutch national, weren't released. The government said Saturday the next of kin and mayor of the victim's hometown have been informed.More >>
  • 3 rockets hit Israel as Hamas rejects Gaza truce

    3 rockets hit Israel as Hamas rejects Gaza truce

    Saturday, July 26 2014 5:19 PM EDT2014-07-26 21:19:11 GMT
    JERUSALEM (AP) - The Israeli military says three rockets have been fired from Gaza at Israel despite a proposed extension of a humanitarian truce in the Gaza war.Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said the group rejected Israel's proposal to extend an original 12-hour lull by four hours, until midnight Saturday.More >>
    JERUSALEM (AP) - The Israeli military says three rockets have been fired from Gaza at Israel despite a proposed extension of a humanitarian truce in the Gaza war.Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said the group rejected Israel's proposal to extend an original 12-hour lull by four hours, until midnight Saturday.More >>
  • Top Stories from KHQTop StoriesMore>>

  • 23-year-old man arrested for burglary, shooting in north Spokane County

    23-year-old man arrested for burglary, shooting in north Spokane County

    Thursday, July 31 2014 6:06 PM EDT2014-07-31 22:06:45 GMT
    SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. - A 23-year-old man was arrested Wednesday night after police say he burglarized a home in north Spokane County and fired a shot at the homeowner when confronted.More >>
    SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. - A 23-year-old man was arrested Wednesday night after police say he burglarized a home in north Spokane County and fired a shot at the homeowner when confronted. Deputy Mark Gregory with the Spokane County Sheriff's Office told KHQ the homeowners returned to their house at around 6:00pm Wednesday and noticed their home had been burglarized.More >>
  • Bonners Ferry man found unresponsive in jail

    Bonners Ferry man found unresponsive in jail

    Thursday, July 31 2014 5:57 PM EDT2014-07-31 21:57:24 GMT
    BOUNDARY COUNTY, Idaho - A Bonners Ferry man is dead after being brought into Boundary County Jail. Sheriff's deputies say the man died of an apparent suicide.More >>
    BOUNDARY COUNTY, Idaho - A Bonners Ferry man is dead after being brought into Boundary County Jail. Sheriff's deputies say the man died of an apparent suicide. Deputies say 43-year-old David Erickson, was being arrested outside the courthouse for outstanding warrants out of Bonner County, became resistant and was tased. The Sheriff's Office told KHQ Erickson was cleared by ambulance personnel and he was taken to jail. More >>
  • Throwback Thursday: Skateboarding

    Throwback Thursday: Skateboarding

    Thursday, July 31 2014 3:13 PM EDT2014-07-31 19:13:02 GMT
    KHQ.com - The battle against skateboarders was in full force in 1990 where we found this clip featuring "the path of destruction" caused by young skateboarders in downtown Spokane. Without a skatepark, where were the kids to go? One of the first official skateparks in downtown was built until 7 years later.More >>
    KHQ.com - The battle against skateboarders was in full force in 1990 where we found this clip featuring "the path of destruction" caused by young skateboarders in downtown Spokane. Without a skatepark, where were the kids to go? One of the first official skateparks in downtown was built until 7 years later.
    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.