Friday, January 13, 2012

Alien Pictures, Alien Sunset, Accurate Sunset on Alien Planet Osiris

Accurate Sunset on Alien Planet Osiris

Professor Frederic Pont at the Unversity of Exeter has reconstructed the startling, alien colours of a distant world's sunset - HD 209458, known as Osiris, using data from the Hubble space telescope.


'Amazingly, we know what sunset on HD 209458 (osiris) looks like quite accurately,' says Professor Pont. 'The colour of the sunset is exactly what is measured when we collect the transmission spectrum of the atmosphere of a planet as it passes its star.'
Osiris's atmosphere was first scanned in 2007. The planet, 150 light years from earth, was said to be the first planet detected with water vapour in its atmosphere.

'Amazingly, we know what sunset on HD 209458 looks like quite accurately,' says Professor Pont. 'The colour of the sunset is exactly what is measured when we collect the transmission spectrum of the atmosphere of a planet as it passes its star.'

When the Hubble collects data on a planet's atmosphere, it's harvesting information about chemistry - but the information comes in the form of wavelengths of light, ie colours.

The colours measured in Hubble's spectrograph are precise enough that they can be 'translated' into an accurate rendition of a sunset, says Pont.

'Unlike its sister planet HD ’189, the planet HD ’209 ('Osiris') has a sunset that looks truly alien,' says Pont.



Alien Pictures, Alien Sunset, Accurate Sunset on Alien Planet Osiris,HD209458
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