Scientists have discovered a 477 light-years away "pitch-black" planet that absorbs 99 percent of the light, making it one of the darkest planets in the world.
Planet WASP-104b was discovered by researchers from Keele University in the United Kingdom using NASA's Kepler telescope to show that it is "darker than coal".
"This is one of the darkest planets ever discovered – it reflects very little light from its host star," said Teo Mocnik of Keeles Astrophysics Group.
"WASP-104b is interesting because it was not even seen – all planets reflect starlight from their star – some planets are highly reflective, as Venus reflects 70 percent of the light, while some others reflect only 1
"When we analyzed Kepler's high-precision photometric data, we were surprised to see no reflected starlight from WASP-104b," said Mocnik, who led the research.
The planet was discovered in orbit yellow dwarf star, which in the constellation Leo about 470 light years away from us and is classified as a hot Jupiterplanet.
Hot Jupiter are giant gas planets with a mass similar to that of Jupiter, but are much closer to their host and make them very hot.
WASP-104b is so close to its host star (at approximately 2.6 million miles) it only takes 1.76 days to complete its orbit.
This proximity to its host star may be the reason the planet is so dark – as the conditions for clouds are too hot (w
The lack of light that is reflected by the planet may also indicate the presence of alkali metals Sodium and potassium can be traced in a "murky" atmosphere, which is a significant absorption of light in the visible wavelengths, they said.
"Since WASP-104b is one of the least reflective planets known to date, it will serve as a test bed for atmospheric models, "said Mocnik.
(This story was not edited by Business Standard employees and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)