Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?

First Exoplanet To Be Seen In Color Is Blue 139

ananyo writes "A navy-blue world orbiting a faraway star is the first exoplanet to have its colour measured. Discovered in 2005, HD 189733 b is one of the best-studied planets outside the Solar System, orbiting a star about 19 parsecs away in the Vulpecula, or Fox, constellation. Previous efforts to observe the planet focused on the infrared light it emits — invisible to the human eye. Astronomers have now used the Hubble Space Telescope to observe the planet and its host star. Hubble's optical resolution is not high enough to actually 'see' the planet as a dot of light separate from its star, so instead, the telescope receives light from both objects that mix into a single point source. To isolate the light contribution of the planet, the researchers waited for the planet to move behind the star during its orbit, so that its light would be blocked, and looked for changes in light colour. During the eclipse, the amount of observed blue light decreased, whereas other colours remained unaffected. This indicated that the light reflected by the planet's atmosphere, blocked by the star in the eclipse, is blue."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

First Exoplanet To Be Seen In Color Is Blue

Comments Filter:
  • I'm curious: what are the likely elements and molecules that would cause the blue reflection?

  • by show me altoids ( 1183399 ) on Thursday July 11, 2013 @03:02PM (#44253881)
    Many and varied. After all, in our own solar system, Earth, Uranus, and Neptune are all shades of blue.
  • That is cool! I'm sure that in the distant future when we get to actually explore these places (probes or human explorers), that we will find all sorts of nifty things... and probably discover all sorts of ways in which we are wrong :-) I wish I could see that future!

  • by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <bassbeast1968 AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday July 11, 2013 @04:19PM (#44254665) Journal

    Well duh! Its a 90s song dude, having a shit video was all the rage, that way you could be "post ironic" about your hipness. Bad pop music, musicians that stared at their feet, oh and while the synths could be new the guitars needed to be from the 60s and 70s, the more shitty and offbeat the brand the better. I was playing with a lot of college bands in those days and while I always had my P-Bass (Can't go wrong with a Fender P-Bass, they never let you down) they were all playing Danelectro and Harmony, Silvertone and Kraftsman, as long as it was quirky looking they'd play those pieces of shit all night long....well for 2-3 song blocks then they'd have to retune those junkers..

    As for I the only one that reads these things and gets depressed? I see the photo and RTFA and find out its 62 light years away and think "I will NEVER get to see this incredible wonder with my own eyes, never feel its ground under my feet" and just get all bummed out. All one has to do is look up where we are in the Milky Way to see that while being out on the ass end of a spiral may be a safer place to be its sure as hell a looooong way from where all the exciting stuff is and if we can't find a way around that pesky speed of light thing? We will never EVER leave our own back yard.

    I don't know about the rest of you but as somebody who grew up watching Star Trek and Battlestar I find that thought thoroughly depressing.

1 Mole = 007 Secret Agents