This story is an example of why I doubt so much I see in astronomy stories these days.
This drives me nuts – these “artist conceptions” are very misleading as to what we can really see. Where are the actual photos from Hubble? I have a feeling to see them we would be totally underwhelmed. Just a few years ago, they still admitted we had no proof of planets outside our solar system (I have no doubt they exist by the way – so don’t think I’m stupid or a planet denier.), but now they have taken some theories people have created about light variations when observing stars and all of the sudden we have “seen” dozens (or probably hundreds by now) of planets in other solar systems.
They claim to be able to see this (or other “huge” planets) by a 3% reduction in the light from their star we can see from Earth, what are the odds? The Universe (and our galaxy for that matter) is in 3 dimensions, what are the odds that all of these planets they claim to see are on a perfectly flat (in line with our planet) plane that is visible from our vantage point? Just Wondering.
And another thing … I’d like to be able to read the science behind how they claim the planet is raining glass. Basically this whole thing is based on their claim that the hubble telescope has determined that a planet exists and it appears to be blue. How does that tell us what the atmosphere is, how fast it’s rotating on its axis (assuming it is), what the temperature is, or a whole host of other things? Every few years I read about the latest findings on the planets in our own solar system. You might be surprised at how much what we “know” about our own planetary neighbors changes every few years.
Fun to think about, but I’m sorry, I question its value.