NASA’s ever-peering eye into the heavens, the Hubble Space Telescope, has found a distant planet whose blue hue could be the result of glass rain.
The planet, HD 189733b, is located 63 light-years away, and it wasn’t until recently, when the planet passed behind its host star, that scientists were able to surmise that the planet is blue.
“We saw the light becoming less bright in the blue but not in the green or red. Light was missing in the blue but not in the red when it was hidden,” said one of the researchers involved in the study, Frederic Pont from University of Exeter in South West England. “This means that the object that disappeared was blue.”
Despite resembling Earth’s blue aura from a distance, the giant gas planet is anything but our home planet. Searing daily temperatures up to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit and 4,500 miles per hour make the planet uninhabitable, and scientists theorize that its blue hue comes doesn’t come from the ocean like it does on Earth, but from silicate particles (glass) in the atmosphere that scatter blue light.
You can read the fully study detailing the findings here.