LONDON: Astronomers have detected another blue planet , an Earth lookalike, with a minor difference. It is not life friendly. The planet’s atmosphere is scorching, with a temperature of over 1000° Celsius, and it rains glass, sideways, in howling 7,000 kilometreper-hour winds.
Using the Nasa/European Space Agency Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers detected the planet some 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 intensively studied by Hubble and other telescopes, and its atmosphere has been found to be dramatically changeable and exotic, with hazes and violent flares. But on Thursday they announced that they have determined the true colour of the planet orbiting another star. If seen up close, this planet known as HD 189733b, would be a deep cobalt blue, reminiscent of Earth’s colour as seen from space.
This deep blue dot is a huge gas giant orbiting very close to its host star. Scientists say the planet’s azure blue colour does not come from the reflection of a tropical ocean, but is due to a hazy, turbulent atmosphere thought to be laced with silicate particles, which scatter blue light. Earlier observations using different methods have reported evidence of scattering of blue light on the planet, but these most recent Hubble observations give robust confirming evidence, say the researchers. Frederic Pont of the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom has for the first time measured its colour and said “we can actually imagine what this planet would look like if we were able to look at it directly”.
Source : http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/science/63-light-years-away-a-planet-as-blue-as-earth/articleshow/21029967.cms