470 light years away, a planet 'darker than charcoal'


The researchers suggest WASP-104b is even darker than charcoal and that it can be among the top-three darkest planets.

But occasionally, astronomers will find one that's a lot darker - like WASP-12b, which previous year was discovered to absorb at least 94 percent of the light that hits it. They're gas giants with masses in the range of Jupiter, but they're extremely close to their stars, usually orbiting in a period of less than 10 days.

It is one of the darkest planets ever found and the discovery was made by researchers from Keele University in the United Kingdom using NASA's Kepler telescope.

A group of Astrophysicists from the Keele University of United Kingdom has found something darker in the dark space. Majority reflect about 40 percent of the starlight that reaches them. The darkest character of the planet it may be due to the Hot Jupiter planets are giant gas planets that won't reflect the star lights while venus like planets reflecting nearly 75% of starlight that falling on them.

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This WASP-104b is the darkest planet ever discovered. The planet orbits a yellow dwarf star some 470 light years away from Earth.

WASP-104b and other extremely dark planets-TrES-2b and HAT-P-7b-reflect similarly tiny fractions of light, making it hard to say exactly which is the darkest.

WASP-104b is so close to its host star that it can complete its orbit in 1.75 days.

Most hot Jupiters are dark planets. Other observations - like the subtle gravitational wobbling WASP-104b inflicts on its host star - helped Mocnik and his colleagues describe the mysterious exoplanet in unprecedented detail.

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On the night side, away from the starlight, clouds may form - but that side never sees daylight, so there's no light nearby for it to reflect.

Instead, we detect them by observing a regular, periodic dimming of the star's normal light levels as the planet moves in front of them. Some celestial bodies - for example, Enceladus and Europe - reflect the incident light by the ice, but the ice, like clouds, cannot exist on the hot Jupiter.

Its darkness may also relate to the presence of alkali metals in WASP-104b's atmosphere, as those are known to absorb a lot of visible light. Although it may reflect less light than charcoal, it can still emit some light.

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