• NASA shared an image of a pink-colored planet
  • GJ 504b is a jovian planet four times more massive than Jupiter
  • GJ 504b has a dark pinkish glow due to the heat from its formation

NASA shared a stunning image of a massive planet that has a pinkish color. According to the agency, the planet’s strange color is caused by the heat radiating due to its formation.

The planet, which was identified as GJ 504b, was first discovered in 2013 using the direct imaging instrument of the Subaru Telescope of the Mauna Kea Observatory in Hawaii. It was spotted orbiting a bright star called GJ 504.

GJ 504b is classified as a jovian planet, another name for giant planets, which means it is larger than Earth. It is also referred to as a gas giant because it is mainly composed of helium and hydrogen.

According to NASA, GJ 504b is several times more massive than Jupiter and orbits a star that’s a bit hotter than the sun. It is situated in the Virgo constellation and is about 57 light-years from Earth’s neighborhood.

It is the planet with the lowest mass ever detected orbiting a sun-like star using the telescope’s direct imaging capabilities.

“GJ 504b is about four times more massive than Jupiter and has an effective temperature of about 460 degrees Fahrenheit (237 Celsius),” NASA said in a statement. “It orbits the G0-type star GJ 504, which is slightly hotter than the Sun and is faintly visible to the unaided eye in the constellation Virgo. The star lies 57 light-years away and researchers estimate the system is about 160 million years old.”

The photo shared by NASA shows an infrared image of GJ 504b taken by the Subaru Telescope. As seen in the photo, the gas giant has a dark pinkish glow.

According to NASA, the planet’s pinkish color is caused by the clouds of gas in its atmosphere. The agency noted that the gas giant also has a magenta-colored glow. NASA explained that GJ 504b’s strange color and glow are caused by the heat of the new world's formation.

“If we could travel to this giant planet, we would see a world still glowing from the heat of its formation with a color reminiscent of a dark cherry blossom, a dull magenta,” NASA stated.

GJ 504b
Using infrared data from the Subaru Telescope in Hawaii, astronomers discovered this gas giant orbiting a bright star named GJ 504 in 2013. Several times the mass of Jupiter and similar in size, the new world, dubbed GJ 504b, is the lowest-mass planet ever detected around a star like the sun using direct imaging techniques. NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center/S. Wiessinger