Monday, August 22, 2011

TrES-2b: Dark Planet

Hi! I've been out of town on vacation for a few weeks which explains the crickets chirping on my blog. I've got a couple substantive posts brewing, but in the meantime enjoy this new release from NASA concerning the creepiest planet yet discovered:

"Planet TrES-2b reflects back less than one percent of the light it receives, making it darker than any known planet or moon, darker even than coal. Jupiter-sized TrES-2b orbits extremely close to a sun-like star 750 light years away, and was discovered producing slight eclipses in 2006 using the modest 10-cm telescopes of the Trans-Atlantic Exoplanet Survey (TrES). The alien world's strange darkness, however, was only uncovered recently by observations indicating its slight reflective glow by the Earth-orbiting Kepler satellite. An artist's drawing of planet is below, complete with unsubstantiated speculation on possible moons. Reasons for TrES-2b's darkness remain unknown and are an active topic of research."