For the first time, scientists reveal the actual, visible color of a distant planet outside the local solar system. Planet HD 189733b, an exoplanet approximately 63 light years from earth, has a deep cobalt blue color based from observations using the Hubble Space Telescope.
A Hot, Blue Jupiter
Scientists say the blue planet has raging storms of glass rain with super-fast winds. However, they are unsure what causes its coloration. They dubbed the planet a “hot Jupiter” because of its mainly gas composition and its close orbit to its sun. The planet takes 2.2 earth days to completely revolve around its home star.
According to Hubble officials, the exoplanet’s weather is extremely hot, at 1,000 degrees Celsius (or 1,832 degrees Fahrenheit). Additionally, its strong rain and winds are just as harsh, with glass-like precipitation going sideways at 7,000 kilometers per hour (or 4,350 miles per hour).
First Result of Its Kind
Confirming this planet’s color is the first time scientists have done so. Frédéric Pont, leader of the Hubble observing program, said: “we can actually imagine what this planet would look like if we were able to look at it directly.”
Scientist Tom Evans, leader of the planet’s study, explained in a statement how they came up with the conclusion. “We saw the brightness of the whole system drop in the blue part of the spectrum when the planet passed behind its star,” he said. “From this, we can gather that the planet is blue, because the signal remained constant at the other colors we measured.”