Skip to comments.Coal-Black Alien Planet Is Darkest Ever Seen
Posted on 08/12/2011 11:36:27 AM PDT by LibWhacker
An alien world blacker than coal, the darkest planet known, has been discovered in the galaxy.
The world in question is a giant the size of Jupiter known as TrES-2b. NASA's Kepler spacecraft detected it lurking around the yellow sun-like star GSC 03549-02811 some 750 light years away in the direction of the constellation Draco.
The researchers found this gas giant reflects less than 1 percent of the sunlight falling on it, making it darker than any planet or moon seen up to now. [The Strangest Alien Planets]
"It's just ridiculous how dark this planet is, how alien it is compared to anything we have in our solar system," study lead-author David Kipping, an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, told SPACE.com. "It's 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."
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
I think it is because the Universe is far more beautiful and varied, than we can possibly imagine.
Isn’t it still true that, due to the limits of current technology, about the only exo-planets they can detect are gas giants close to their sun?
Big piece of charcoal?
A technologically advanced society enveloped their planet in a photovoltaic shroud to make full use of all the sunlight that hits it to power their juicemakers.
Giedi Prime in the movie was a bizarre world of slag heaps, seas of oil and slag heaps and toxic waste lagoons.
However, in the book version, Giedi Prime was where the Harkonnens made their fortune by their dominance of the whale fur market. So obviously the literary version was more hospitable.
I never bothered to read Frank Herbert Jr.’s books but I gather he takes a similar tack.
That image was the first thing which came to my mind too tho I couldn’t remember the name.
Would that be the flying fat people with bad skin?
Home of House Harkonnen?
That was true a few years ago, but not now. They can detect rocky/ocean covered planets as small as 5 times the size of Earth now; most everything that is detected is quite a bit closer to their star than Earth is, however (but most of the stars are smaller than the sun, as well.)
Planet Jackson? Or Planet Sharpton?
Chocolatier than New Orleans, even...
“Why is my name Darkstar?”
“Because in the land of Faerie all the stars are dark - but yours shall be the darkest.”
No but this is....one of the greatest cartoons ever made
I gather, until recently, it was thought that rocky worlds couldn’t get much bigger than Earth/Venus?
I believe it’s assumed that only stars like our sun can harbor worlds with life. Since the so-called red dwarfs have an unfortunate tendency to scorching hiccups.
The researchers found this gas giant reflects less than 1 percent of the sunlight falling on it...Incredible that they can measure a difference of six parts in a million! 'Course, I grew up before CCDs when measuring light output seemed so subjective; someone would have to say x is twice as bright as y before I'd believe them!
"By combining the impressive precision from Kepler with observations of over 50 orbits, we detected the smallest-ever change in brightness from an exoplanet just 6 parts per million," said Kipping. "In other words, Kepler was able to directly detect visible light coming from the planet itself."
These extremely small fluctuations in light proved that TrES-2b is incredibly dark. A more reflective world would have shown larger brightness variations as its phase changed.
This is why they can detect much smaller planets; the old way was seeing the star wobble because of the planet’s gravity pulling on it; the new way (Kepler) detects the tiny dimming of the light from the star when the planet passes in front.
Just waiting to see something an infinite number of blind monkeys came up with on an infinite number of typewriters. ;-)
“Coal-’African-American’ Alien Planet Is Darkest Ever Seen”
There, fixed it for you.
Almost sounds brown dwarfish, but it's too small to be a brown dwarf.
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