Hubble finds a black planet.

Hubble finds a black planet.

WASP-12b is an alien world whose surface is painted black. Revolves around a solar star

Scientists have found that the planet WASP-12b practically does not reflect light, which makes it, in fact, black. The albedo measurements were performed using the Hubble telescope, which also helped to learn information about the atmosphere.

The albedo index was shocking, as for the planet 0.064 - darker than asphalt! This is half the capacity of the moon. WASP-12b revolves around the WASP-12A solar star at a distance of 1,400 light years from us. It was discovered since 2008. The radius is twice as large as Jupiter, and the year lasts a little more than Earth days. Belongs to the class of hot Jupiter.

Because of the proximity to the star, the shape is stretched and resembles an egg. The temperature rises to 2600 ° C. It can also affect the low albedo, because other black hot Jupiters have been found, but they are much colder. They have clouds that absorb light, but this model does not work in this case. The daytime half of the WASP-12b is so hot that cloud cover cannot form. The temperature simply destroys the hydrogen molecules. To determine albedo, the researchers observed the exoplanet in September 2016 during the eclipse.

Measurements were also performed by the Hubble spectrograph at different wavelengths. The data were compared with early spectral models of the atmosphere. It turned out that they do not converge. New information suggests that the atmosphere is filled with atomic hydrogen and helium.

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