In Brief

Newfound Alien Planet Is Blue!

Artist’s Impression of the Deep Blue Planet HD 189733b
This illustration shows HD 189733b, a huge gas giant that orbits very close to its host star HD 189733. The planet's atmosphere is scorching with a temperature of over 1000 degrees Celsius, and it rains glass, sideways, in howling 7000 kilometer-per-hour winds. Image released July 11, 2013. (Image credit: NASA, ESA, M. Kornmesser)

Color astronomers ecstatic, as they have, for the first time, deciphered the hue of a distant world. The exoplanet, dubbed HD 189733b, is a deep cobalt blue and lies some 63 light-years from Earth (our own blue marble).

While HD 189733b may boast a similar shade as our planet, the orb is not rocky and is instead considered a hot Jupiter, meaning a gaseous planet that orbits very near to its host star, according to Its weather is no picnic, either. The planet likely experiences glass rain that rushes in sideways in raging winds — some 4,350 mph (7,000 km/h). Its atmosphere, according to NASA scientists, can reach 1,832 degrees Fahrenheit (1,000 degrees Celsius).

NASA scientists used the Hubble Space Telescope to look for wavelengths of light reflecting off the planet's surface to nail down its hue.

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Jeanna Bryner
Live Science Editor-in-Chief

Jeanna served as editor-in-chief of Live Science. Previously, she was an assistant editor at Scholastic's Science World magazine. Jeanna has an English degree from Salisbury University, a master's degree in biogeochemistry and environmental sciences from the University of Maryland, and a graduate science journalism degree from New York University. She has worked as a biologist in Florida, where she monitored wetlands and did field surveys for endangered species. She also received an ocean sciences journalism fellowship from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.