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Hear Of A Black Planet
August 16, 2011
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NASA's Kepler spacecraft has discovered the darkest planet in the known universe. Located about 750 light-years away from Earth, the planet - which is named TrEs-2b - reflects less than 1 per cent of the light from its parent star, making it blacker than coal.

Scientists have no idea why this gas giant is so much darker than any other world we've observed. The discovery has led researchers to believe there may be elements in play that are outside of current human knowledge. David Kipping, lead author of the study, says "there's a good chance it's a chemical we haven't even thought of yet."

TrEs-2b isn't just dark, either - it's also incredibly hot. The estimated temperature of the atmosphere is 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit, which makes Death Valley look like Nunavut. According to the report's co-author, David Spiegel, "it's so hot that it emits a faint red glow, much like a burning ember or the coils on an electric stove."

The discovery of this strange, dark world is reinforcing the notion that our own solar system may not be as typical as we thought. Of course, it's not the first surprising world that astronomers have found in the sky. If the hot, black climate of TrEs-2b doesn't appeal to you, why not take a luxurious trip to this so-called "diamond planet"?

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