By using the advanced Kepler Space Telescope, a group of NASA scientists managed to spot a really interesting cosmic body. The object in question is a pitch black planet that can absorb about 99 percent of the light it receives from nearby stars. This planet got the name WASP-104b, and entered the Hot Jupiter category.
The pitch black planet absorbs almost all the light it gets
About 470 light-years away, scientists observed something odd. Even if they studied the constellation, they overlooked the pitch black planet that camouflaged itself perfectly. Instead of reflecting the light it received from its parent star, it reflected almost all of it. As a result, there was almost nothing to be seen.
The planet is situated in the Leo constellation, and researchers added it on the Hot Jupiter list. This means it is a gas giant of relatively the same size as Jupiter. However, it sits only 2.6 million miles away from its parent star, which makes it scorching hot. At such a distance, it only takes a few days to perform an orbit around the star.
The planet is a Hot Jupiter that sits really close to its star
However, WASP-104b is a lot more remarkable for being a pitch black planet. This massive blackness prevented the researchers from spotting it in the first place, as it reflects almost no light. Moreover, there is a layer of haze that surrounds it, making things even more impossible.
This is quite odd, since most planets reflect at least a bit of light. However, the fact that it’s a Hot Jupiter partially explains the phenomenon. These planets are usually a lot darker than others, but a pitch black planet that absorbs almost all light is truly remarkable.
Researchers blame the small distance between WASP-104b and its star, as this is the most logical explanation. Also, its atmosphere rich in alkaline elements might also contribute to the blackness. Researchers also published a study that went online on the arXiv platform.
Image source: Wikimedia Commons