Astronomers have found a deep azure blue planet orbiting a star 63 light years away — the first time they’ve been able to determine the actual color of a planet outside our solar system, NASA and the European Space Agency said Thursday.
The planet, known as HD 189733b, is a gas giant with a daytime temperature of 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit where it possibly rains liquid glass sideways amid 4,500 mph winds, NASA says.
The blue color comes not from the reflection of an ocean, as on Earth, “but rather a hazy, blow-torched atmosphere containing high clouds laced with silicate particles,” NASA says. “Silicates condensing in the heat could form very small drops of glass that scatter blue light more than red light.”
The space agencies said astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope discovered the planet in 2005 but only now have they been able to use Hubble’s observations to determine the deep blue color.