Astronomers have discovered a blue planet which looks like planet Earth

63 million light years away, it’s a gas giant in a class of planets called “hot Jupiters” and scientists describe its atmosphere as “changeable and exotic”. The cold luminous blue is caused (they think) by liquid silicate – glass to you and me – falling in droplets like rain but blown sideways by high winds. Glass rain; imagine that. Science fact feeds science fiction.

By Jove, it looks like Iain M. Banks could have been right!

The late Iain M. Banks (R.I.P.) was a master of imagining alternative environments and life forms, such as the gas giant Nasquaron and its inhabitants in The Algebraist.  It just goes to show whatever SF and Fantasy authors dream up might not be so outlandish after all. I had just finished reading this book when the discovery was announced.

Hot Jupiter

 The characters in Far Out are anchored on Earth, but who knows where they’ll go next? I reposted this because it relates to the post in Day 9 of my Summer Blog Hop, fourteen days in Nate’s Stargazing Tent on Coffee ‘n Characters blog hop which I did in 2013. It was a lot of fun. I must do another one sometime, maybe for my next fiction.
Happy stargazing.
Image courtesy of NASA JPL CalTech