Mysterious GJ 504b is the smallest planet ever found in a solar system like ours. And it’s pink
NASA scientists have directly observed a new planet. Though it’s still the size of Jupiter, it’s the smallest one ever found in a solar system like ours and it’s pink.
“If we could travel to this giant planet, we would see a world still glowing from the heat of its formation with a colour reminiscent of a dark cherry blossom, a dull magenta,” said Michael McElwain, who works on NASA’s “discovery” team at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., said in a release.
“Our near-infrared camera reveals that its colour is much more blue than other imaged planets, which may indicate that its atmosphere has fewer clouds.”
The planet, named GJ 504b after the GJ 504 star system it resides in, is a Jupiter-like gas-giant. And scientists are a bit flummoxed to how it was formed. (NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/S. Wiessinger)
Wonderful long exposure photographs taken by astronaut Don Pettit. While there are many photos like these taken from the perspective of the Earth’s surface, Pettit’s images are unique in that they incorporate the passing blur of entire illuminated cities, aurora, and the sporadic flashes of lightening from thunderstorms. Check out many more photos from the series here.
Credit: Don Pettit/NASA