Artist's conception of the blue exoplanet HD 189733b, orbiting a star 63 light years distant (Image: NASA, ESA, M. Kornmesser)
Current best map of Pluto as seen by the Hubble Space Telescope (Photo: NASA, ESA, and Marc W. Buie (Southwest Research Institute))
Temperature resolved map of HD 189733 b, showing temperatures in excess of 1000K, and a hot spot angled about 30 degrees away from where the exoplanet's star appears overhead (Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/H. Knutson (Harvard-Smithsonian CfA))
The area in which HD 189733 lies in our skies. The image is about a degree in width, and the planetary nebula is the famous Dumbbell Nebula M27 (Photo: NASA, ESA, and the Digitized Sky Survey 2)
Artist's conception of the blue exoplanet HD 189733b orbiting a star 63 light years from Earth (Image: NASA, ESA, M. Kornmesser)
A comparison of the color of HD 189733b with the planets of the Solar System. The exoplanet show no obvious similarity with any of our planets (Image: NASA, ESA, and A. Feild (STScI/AURA)
Uncovering any sort of detailed information about an exoplanet presents astronomers with an exceedingly difficult challenge. Despite the hurdles, however, some exoplanets are particularly well situated for such study. Astronomers have previously determined considerable information about the atmosphere and climate of HD 189733b. Now, thanks to Hubble observations made while it passed behind its primary star last December, we also know that this hot Jupiter-like planet is a deep cobalt blue in color, marking the first time that the color of an exoplanet has been measured.
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