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"Deep blue" planet is no Earth

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Thursday, July 11, 2013

USA Today: Astronomers analyzing data from the Hubble telescope say a blue planet in a nearby solar system shares little else with Earth besides color.

The planet, HD 189733b, circles a star some 63 light years away, about 372 trillion miles, according to the upcoming Astrophysical Journal Letters report led by the University of Oxford's Tom Evans. The Jupiter-sized planet, about 13% heftier than the largest planet in our solar system, orbits very close to its star, circling it once every 2.2 days. That makes it a (very) "Hot Jupiter" planet, the study notes, with cloud temperatures likely around 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit and winds whipping around at 4,350 miles-per-hour.

Astronomers have detected more than 800 "exoplanets" -- planets that orbit stars outside our solar system -- in the last two decades. HD 189733b was discovered in 2005.

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