There is a planet that absorbs nearly 99% of the light that reaches it



A particularity of the WASP-104b planet discovered by astronomers at Kiel University (UK) is that the dense atmosphere absorbs virtually all the light that enters it. Researchers compare it with coal and say that this is one of the darkest planets ever discovered.

The object belongs to the hot Jupiters class, which are giant gas giants, similar to Jupiter, but at the same time very close to their stars, due to which they have very high temperatures. Usually, the orbital period of such planets is less than 10 days.

Representatives of this class are not unusual, but often have features that make them very interesting for research. For example, such a feature is that hot jupiters are much darker than ordinary planets.

Most of the hot junkies discovered so far, as a rule, absorb about 40% of the world. However, in 2008, astronomers discovered the planet WASP-12b, which turned out to be much darker than their counterparts. Scientists have discovered that the planet is capable of absorbing at least 94% of the light that enters. Detective WASP-104b, in turn, was even darker. According to astronomers' calculations, this object is capable of absorbing between 97 and 99% of its starlight.

    "Among the darkest planets that are written in the textbooks, they can easily write the WASP-104b in the top five of the darkest, not even the first three," says the head of the study, Kilo Theo Mocknick University astrophysicist.

A possible explanation of its "dark nature" may be the distance on which the planet from its star is located - a yellow dwarf, located at about 466 light years from us in Leo's constellation. The distance between the WASP-104b and its native star is only about 4.3 million kilometers. For this reason, the orbital rotation period is only 1.77 days.

Like most hot jupgers, the WASP-104b has a tidal grip (one of its faces is always turned to star). In other words, there is an eternal day on one side of the planet and, on the other hand, an eternal night. Because of this, the part of the planet's day is so hot that clouds can not form over it, which would enhance its reflection, and on the night side, the ice can not be formed because the planet's temperature is generally very high.

Instead, the WASP-104b has a very thick layer of smoke, most likely having a high content of atomic sodium and potassium particles, absorbing light in the visible spectrum of the spectrum and making the planet very dark even on the daylight side of a star. On the night of the planet, clouds are very likely to form, but since there is never light, then there is nothing to reflect these clouds.

Despite the fact that hot Jupiters are usually darker than ordinary planets, they are harder to detect than ordinary planets. All of them are very far from us so they can be seen directly or discerned against the background of brighter stars around which they are located.

The only available method for detecting these planets is to observe the variation in the brightness of the stars, which usually decreases when the planet passes in front of the star and observer. This search is called the transit detection method and is the main and most effective way to search for new exoplanets, such as space telescopes such as Kepler.

Because hot jupiries are very large planets, they can also be detected using the Doppler method, which consists in spectrometric measurement of the radial velocity of a star. A star possessing a planetary system will move into its small orbit in response to the planet's attraction. This, in turn, will lead to a change in the speed at which the star travels to and from Earth (that is, a change in the radial velocity of the star to the Earth).

In addition, such planets can not be called black, such as, for example, coal, tar or the same Vantablack (the darkest material on Earth). Darkness they are called more likely to determine their reflective characteristics, rather than radiation. Because these planets are usually very warm, they can have bluish, violet or red brilliance.

At the moment, the darkest of the hot Jupiters ever discovered is the planet TrES-2b, which reflects only 0.1% of the light that strikes it.
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