Viral

Why Does This Exoplanet Reflect No Light?

Most things in space reflect a little bit of light. It’s called albedo, pronounced like libido to give astronomers something to make sex jokes about other than Uranus, and it’s usually how we find planets and the like. But not TrES-2b. It’s all like “Whatever, whatever, I’ll absorb all the light that I want!”

About 750 light years away, it reflects less than 1 percent of light. To give you an idea of how dark this is, they literally only found it when it passed in front of its star; until recently they had no idea it was there. Scientists can’t even figure out what TrES-2b’s chemical makeup is; vaporized sodium and potassium, or gaseous titanium oxide, are pretty dark, but not dark enough to account for a planet that sucks in all light.

In short, it’s a mysterious planet that probably has a chemical composition we can’t even think of. Uh, maybe we should just preemptively blow this one up, guys.

[ via the finders of a black planet at 80Beats ]

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