Exoplanet WASP-104b was found and is currently considered the least reflective planet. According to the researchers, the planet absorbs almost 99 percent of the light that goes in its direction. ( NASA / JPL-Caltech / T. Pyle )
Scientists have confirmed the WASP-1
Researchers described the planet as "darker than coal."
Least-Reflective Planet Found
Researchers from Keele University in the UK published a paper in the Cornell University Library showing how dark WASP-104b can be. They found that it absorbs about 97 to 99 percent of the light. In the description of the paper, the planet is referred to as "one of the least reflective planets found to date".
WASP-104b is so close to its host star that it can complete its orbit in 1.75 days. It is located at a distance of 2.6 million miles from the star. Even with its proximity to its host star, it is able to reflect almost no starlight.
Co-author Ted Mocnik spoke with New Scientist about the study. He said that of all the planets discovered, WASP-104b can be considered the three darkest planets.
WASP-104b was discovered four years ago with the Kepler Space Telescope. The scientists used data from the Kepler Space Telescope's K2 mission and were able to see that WASP-104b has a thick atmosphere of atomic sodium and potassium. Both elements contribute to the planet's ability to absorb light. Both absorb light in the visible spectrum.
WASP-104b is similar in size to Jupiter, but it is much closer to its host star than Jupiter. These types of planets are known as Hot Jupiters. Hot Jupiter are gas giants with a orbital period of less than 10 days. This proximity to the host star makes her extremely hot. They are also on the run.
Most of them are called Jupiter dark planets. ScienceAlert says that these types of planets reflect about 40 percent of the light that goes their way. There were other planets that reflect almost as much light as WASP-104b.
In 2011, TrES-2b was discovered, which was about three million miles from its star. It reaches temperatures of about 1,800 ° F (980 ° C). It was found that only about one percent of the light is reflected in its direction.
In 2017, it was observed that WASP-12b intercepts at least 94 percent of the visible starlight that fell into its atmosphere. Even a hot Jupiter, WASP-12b temperatures reach 4,600 ° F (2540 ° C).
There are two theories about how hot Jupiter form. One theory suggests that the planet is away from the star, and that later in life it traveled to the star. The other theory suggests that hot Jupiter began as super-earths collecting gas around the rocky layer.
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