Gas Giant Discovered By Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Is Darkest Alien Planet

By on Aug 13, 2011 in Amazing, Astronomy, Science, United States, World Comments
TrES-2b: Darkest Alien Planet
TrES-2b: Darkest Alien Planet
Image Credit: Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Planet TrES-2b is a dark gas giant found in the galaxy by NASA‘s Kepler spacecraft of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, according to reports by several international news sites on Friday, August 12, 2011.

The newly discovered planet is reportedly the size of the Jupiter and even blacker than coal as it only reflects less than one percent of the incoming sunlight. It was found in the area GSC 03549-02811, a yellow sun-like star, estimated at 750 light years away in the direction of the Draco constellation.

David Kipping, lead-author of the study and an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, said in a statement that giant gas is “just ridiculous how dark this planet is, how alien it is compared to anything we have in our solar system.” He further described the planet as “darker than the blackest lump of coal, than dark acrylic paint you might paint with. It’s bizarre how this huge planet became so absorbent of all the light that hits it.”

Reports added that TrES-2b does not have reflective clouds that Jupiter has, thus, raising the temperature of the atmosphere to over 980 degrees Celsius.

Researchers noted that the light-absorbing chemicals that include vaporized sodium and potassium or gaseous titanium oxide present in the planet’s atmosphere contributes to the planets darkness.

Kipping admitted that it is still “a mystery as to what’s causing it to be so dark.”

The detailed findings of Kipping‘s team will be published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

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