Scientists have found the darkest planet in the Universe

This Planet Is So Dark Scientists Have to Guess What It Looks Like

This is not an image of the newfound dark planet which swallows up too much light to be visible to human observers. Credit Yuriy Mazur Shutterstock

As per a New Scientist report, Mocnik says that this is one of the top three darkest planets he knows about from documentation. Researchers think hot Jupiter WASP-104b might be one of the darkest planets ever discovered.

The gas giant WASP-104bвращается around its star at a distance of 466 light-years from Earth. A new study has revealed that the planet named WASP-104b might be the darkest planet of the cosmos as it absorbs nearly 99 percent of light falling on its surface.

The darkest planet discovered earlier, was a black-and-blue exoplanet TrES-2B or Kepler-1b, located approximately 750 light years from us. It is so dark that the researchers can not actually see the planet. This newly detected world, however, reflects little or no light, to the degree that it was actually very hard for researchers to find it at all.

Researchers used data from NASA's Kepler space telescope - "the K2 short-cadence data from Campaign 14" - to detect "phase-curve modulation in the light curve of the hot-Jupiter host star WASP-104".

Because they could not actually see WASP-104b directly, the researchers studied the planet via the transit method, which involves measuring the minute dimming of a distant star as a planet passes in front of it. This proximity to the host star makes them extremely hot. "Some planets are highly reflective, such as Venus reflecting 70 percent of the light, while some others reflect only 10 percent", said Mocnik.




The planet was discovered orbiting a yellow dwarf star some 470 light-years away from us in the constellation Leo, and is categorised as a "hot Jupiter" planet.

Hot Jupiters are known to be darker than normal, with many reflecting around 40% of light, but this is something totally unusual.

The planet is so close to its star that it completes an orbit in just 1.75 days. WASP-104b is tidally locked - one side always faces the star, the other side is colder and darker.

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. The metals are known to absorb light significantly in the visible spectrum. They are also relatively dark and most reflect 40% of starlight that reaches them.

Močnik's theory is that the extreme closeness to its sun keeps the hotter side from developing any clouds, which are a major cause of light reflection.

Latest News