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.