An Extrospective Journal.
A planet that rains glass.
For the first time, astronomers
have determined the true colour
of a planet orbiting another star.
The world, known as
HD189733b, has a deep azure
hue – probably the result of silicate (glass) rain in the…
atmosphere, which scatters blue
Details of the discovery, made
with the Hubble Space Telescope,
are to appear in Astrophysical Journal Letters.
Although it might resemble Earth
from a distance, HD189733b is a
huge gas giant which orbits close
to its host star.
The temperature of the planet’s atmosphere is a scorching
1,000C, and it rains glass,
sideways, in howling 7,000km-
Its atmosphere has been found
to be dramatically changeable and exotic, with hazesand
violent bursts of evaporation.
At a distance of 63 light-years
from us, this turbulent alien
world is one of the nearest
exoplanets to Earth that can be seen crossing the face of its star.
It has been extensively studied
by ground- and space-based
telescopes. Now, astronomers
have measured its visible colour.