In my setting, there's a gas giant orbiting in the habitable zone of a red dwarf (for specificity, its radius is about half Jupiter's, and it's 0.35 AU from 61 Cygni B. Ignore the effect of the other star in the binary, it's too far away to matter). All I want to know is, what does the planet look like?
Even more specifically, I'd like to know what it would look like in the sky of a nearby planet (orbiting at 0.5 AU). At closest approach, the gas planet would appear to be 1/3 the size of the sun/moon seen from Earth, so it definitely looks like more than just another point of light.
Here's what I have so far:
- It's too hot for methane or ammonia in the atmosphere, which would prevent it from having Neptune's blue coloring, and anyway, there isn't a lot of blue light coming from the star. I'd like it to stand out in the (yellow-orange) sky of the planet, so I'm hoping it's possible for it to be pale, like Saturn. But I don't know enough about gas planet atmospheres to narrow down the possibilities.
- It's tidally locked. I imagine that means that there will be continuous convection currents between the hot side and the cold side. Could these be visible in the sky?
- Auroras. This planet orbits a flare star, meaning lots of solar wind, meaning bright auroras at the poles (assuming that tidally-locked planets, with their slow rotations, can still have strong magnetic fields). Would these be visible, and if so, on which side? Could they be bright enough to be seen above the dark (cold) side of the gas giant, or even against the brighter (hot) side that faces the star?
- Rings? Apparently, rocky rings around warm gas planets could be a thing. If so, I'd love that, because as is pretty obvious by this point, the main role of this planet is to look awesome. Any ideas what color the rings would be?
Sorry if this is too many questions at once. I could split this up into different posts, but since they all relate to the appearance of this single example planet, I thought that would be overkill.