[From the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics]
Cambridge, MA - Astronomers have discovered the darkest known exoplanet - a distant, Jupiter-sized gas giant known as TrES-2b. Their measurements show that TrES-2b reflects less than one percent of the sunlight falling on it, making it blacker than coal or any planet or moon in our solar system.
"By combining the impressive precision from Kepler with observations of over 50 orbits, we detected the smallest-ever change in brightness from an exoplanet: just 6 parts per million," said astronomer David Kipping of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA). "In other words, Kepler was able to directly detect visible light coming from the planet itself."
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Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyle