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Alien World is Blacker than Coal

tres-2b black dark space

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#1 Crisp

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 18:23

Alien World is Blacker than Coal

 

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Cambridge, MA - Astronomers have discovered the darkest known exoplanet - a distant, Jupiter-sized gas giant known as TrES-2b. Their measurements show that TrES-2b reflects less than one percent of the sunlight falling on it, making it blacker than coal or any planet or moon in our solar system.

"TrES-2b is considerably less reflective than black acrylic paint, so it's truly an alien world," said astronomer David Kipping of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA), lead author on the paper reporting the research.

In our solar system, Jupiter is swathed in bright clouds of ammonia that reflect more than a third of the sunlight reaching it. In contrast, TrES-2b (which was discovered in 2006 by the Trans-Atlantic Exoplanet Survey, or TrES) lacks reflective clouds due to its high temperature.

TrES-2b orbits its star at a distance of only three million miles. The star's intense light heats TrES-2b to a temperature of more than 1,800° Fahrenheit - much too hot for ammonia clouds. Instead, its exotic atmosphere contains light-absorbing chemicals like vaporized sodium and potassium, or gaseous titanium oxide. Yet none of these chemicals fully explain the extreme blackness of TrES-2b.

 

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#2 McKay

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 18:32

Amazing it was spotted, Coal has such a low reflective rate as it is, this is even lower? And the sheer distance away these things are. Astronomers amaze me so often.



#3 Hum

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 23:32

Another Deathstar !