Scientists discover light-eating dark planet

Release date:2022-01-07

Using Hubble’s Space Telescope, researchers have found a planet so dark that it absorbs 94 percent of the light that reaches it.

Teams from McGill University, Canada, and the UK’s Exeter University have been using Hubble’s spectrograph to measure the amount of light this dark planet reflects.

The exoplanet known as Wasp-12b is referred to as a “hot Jupiter” because it’s a gas giant that orbits incredibly close to its sun. It’s fairly rare because most planets usually have one side that is cooler, which allows clouds to form and reflect more light into space. But even with this occurring on Wasp-12b, it only reflects back 6% of the light it absorbs.

Initially discovered in 2008, it was revealed in 2010 that the planet’s atmosphere had ballooned to be 40 times that of Jupiter’s. Which sadly means this dark planet will eventually be swallowed up by its star.