This giant planet has 'stunning' storm clouds made of rubies and sapphire

Researchers with the University of Warwick have detailed the discovery of a new planet called HAT-P-7b, an exoplanet that experiences violent storms. The planet definitely isn't inhabitable because of those storms, but it is notable for the same reason: the clouds appear to be made from corundum, the mineral that produces sapphires and rubies. Researchers say these clouds are likely 'visually stunning.'

The planet was discovered by Warwick's Astrophysics Group's Dr. David Armstrong; it is located more than 1,000 light years from our own planet, and is also 16 times larger. Due to its distance, researchers discovered it by noting the changes in light reflected from it. The finding was notable for several reasons.

According to the university, this is the first giant gas planet with weather patterns that has been found outside of our own planet. Those weather patterns, though, are thought to be volatile and at times violent. As well, and as the artist rendition above shows, one side of the planet is exposed to its star and quite warm while the other is darker and much colder.

While that's all great for researchers, the general public has been dazzled by the planet's description for another reason: the clouds composed of the same crystallized mineral that gives us sapphires and rubies. The appearance of these storms are likely stunning, particularly as they pass through the brighter part of the planet.

SOURCE: University of Warwick