Astronomers have discovered the darkest known exoplanet, which reflects less than one per cent of the sunlight that reaches it—making it blacker than coal, and less reflective than acrylic black paint, according to the Royal Astronomical Society. Using NASA’s Kepler spacecraft, which precisely measures the brightness of distant stars, they determined that exoplanet TrES-2B is a Jupiter-sized gas giant. But although Jupiter is surrounded by bright clouds of ammonia, which reflect more than one-third of the sunlight that falls on it, this planet is too hot for reflective clouds and contains light-absorbing chemicals. It’s so hot that it emits a red glow, like an ember. Kepler has already found more than 1,200 planet candidates.
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