Shedding Some Light on a Dark Discovery

[/caption]

Earlier this month astronomers released news of the darkest exoplanet ever seen: discovered in 2006, the gas giant TrES-2b reflects less than 1% of the visible light from its parent star… it’s literally darker than coal! Universe Today posted an article about this intriguing announcement on August 11, and now Dr. David Kipping of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics is featuring a podcast on 365 Days of Astronomy in which he gives more detail about the dark nature of this discovery.

Listen to the podcast here.

The 365 Days of Astronomy Podcast is a project that will publish one podcast per day, for all 365 days of 2011. The podcast episodes are written, recorded and produced by people around the world.

“TrES-2b is similar in mass and radius to Jupiter but Jupiter reflects some 50% of the incident light. TrES-2b has a reflectivity less than that of any other planet or moon in the Solar System or beyond. The reflectivity is significantly less than even black acrylic paint, which makes the mind boggle as to what a clump of this planet would look like in your hand. Perhaps an appropriate nickname for the world would be Erebus, the Greek God of Darkness and Shadow. But what really is causing this planet to be so dark?”

– Dr. David Kipping

David Kipping obtained a PhD in Astrophysics from University College London earlier this year. His thesis was entitled ‘The Transits of Extrasolar Planets with Moons’ and David’s main research interest revolves around exomoons. He is just starting a Carl Sagan Fellowship at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

The paper on which the the podcast is based can be found here.

_________________________

Jason Major is a graphic designer, photo enthusiast and space blogger. Visit his website Lights in the Dark and follow him on Twitter @JPMajor and on Facebook for more astronomy news and images!

Jason Major

A graphic designer in Rhode Island, Jason writes about space exploration on his blog Lights In The Dark, Discovery News, and, of course, here on Universe Today. Ad astra!

Recent Posts

InSight is Losing Power, it Probably Will be Shut Down in a Few Months

The InSight Mars lander will cease science operations sometime in the next few months due…

13 hours ago

Maybe We Don’t Hear From Aliens Because They Choose To Go Silent

How will humanity meet its end? That's only a depressing question if you think that…

13 hours ago

Ceres Probably Formed Farther out in the Solar System and Migrated Inward

When Sicilian astronomer Giuseppe Piazzi spotted Ceres in 1801, he thought it was a planet.…

14 hours ago

China has a new Human Lunar Space Program, With Plans for Landers, Orbiters, Rovers, and a Lunar Base

In a recent interview, an engineer associated with the Chinese space agency confirmed that China…

17 hours ago

No, This Isn’t a Doorway on Mars

A Mastcam image from the Mars Curiosity rover captures what looks like a doorway into…

1 day ago

Congressional UFO Hearing Brings a Few Answers and More Questions

For the first time in more than half a century, Congress conducted a public hearing…

1 day ago