Exoplanets are astronomers and other scientists newest toy. These planets exist beyond our galaxy and at last count scientists believe that have found 573 of them.
The one type of exoplanets that have scientists scratching their heads extra hard are ones termed as dark planets and thanks to the Kepler spacecraft scientists have a new planet to puzzle over. Called TrES-2b, and the size of Jupiter some 750 light-years away, it is considered to be the darkest known planet.
It is so black that it is darker than coal and is less reflective than black acrylic paint; and yet the planet isn’t completely black
It emits an extremely faint red glow, like that of a hot ember. And it turns out that heat is the main culprit behind this darkest of dark planets. TrES-2b orbits its star at a distance of just 3 million miles (by comparison, we’re about 93 million miles from our sun), which leads to surface temperatures on TrES-2b of more than 1,800 degrees.
image: Artist’s rendering of TrES-2b, David A. Aguilar (CfA)