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Quick, Star Wars Nerds...What's That One Planet...

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  • Quick, Star Wars Nerds...What's That One Planet...

    ...where Obi-Wan owned Anakin on?

    They found it... sort of:

    Originally posted by Charles Q. Choi, Space.com
    An alien world blacker than coal, the darkest planet known, has been discovered in the galaxy.
    The world in question is a giant the size of Jupiter known as TrES-2b. NASA's Kepler spacecraft detected it lurking around the yellow sun-like star GSC 03549-02811 some 750 light years away in the direction of the constellation Draco.
    The researchers found this gas giant reflects less than 1 percent of the sunlight falling on it, making it darker than any planet or moon seen up to now. [ The Strangest Alien Planets ]
    "It's just ridiculous how dark this planet is, how alien it is compared to anything we have in our solar system," study lead-author David Kipping, an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, told SPACE.com. "It's darker than the blackest lump of coal, than dark acrylic paint you might paint with. It's bizarre how this huge planet became so absorbent of all the light that hits it."

    Whereas Jupiter has clouds streaking it white and red, reflecting more than a third of the sunlight reaching it, TrES-2b apparently lacks reflective clouds, super-heated as its atmosphere is to more than 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit (980 degrees Celsius) by a star just 3.1 million miles away from it.
    "However, it's not completely pitch black," co-author David Spiegel of Princeton University said in a statement. "It's so hot that it emits a faint red glow, much like a burning ember or the coils on an electric stove."

    The researchers propose that light-absorbing chemicals such as vaporized sodium and potassium or gaseous titanium oxide in the planet's atmosphere could help explain why it is so dark. Still, none of these can fully explain why the world is as stealthily cloaked as it is.

    "It's a mystery as to what's causing it to be so dark," Kipping said. "There's a good chance it's a chemical we haven't even thought of yet."

    The astronomers think TrES-2b is tidally locked like our moon, such that one side of the planet always faces the star. This would lead it to change phases as it orbits its star just as our moon waxes and wanes from new to crescent to full, causing the total brightness of the star plus the planet to vary slightly over time.

    "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 Kipping. "In other words, Kepler was able to directly detect visible light coming from the planet itself."

    These extremely small fluctuations in light proved that TrES-2b is incredibly dark. A more reflective world would have shown larger brightness variations as its phase changed.

    Although TrES-2b currently is the darkest known planet, similar worlds around other stars undoubtedly await discovery, the researchers said. For now, it reinforces the idea that our solar system may not be as typical as we once thought, with an extraordinary variety of worlds potentially filling our galaxy.
    Additional investigation of the more than 1,200 prospective worlds that Kepler has detected could turn up other unusually dark planets. The spacecraft, which launched in March 2009, is planned to run until at least November 2012.
    "If Kepler gets an extended mission as we're hoping, it would be a huge boost to this kind of research," Kipping said.

    Kipping and Spiegel detailed their findings in a study accepted for publication in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
    okay not really anything like the planet in Star Wars but still kinda sweet.
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    DISCLAIMER: MY REVIEWS OFTEN CONTAIN SPOILERS. READ AT YOUR OWN RISK.

  • #2
    mustafar

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    • #3
      Originally posted by jcdavey View Post
      mustafar

      yeah that. lol.
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      • #4
        Originally posted by jcdavey View Post
        mustafar

        Nerd. :paper:
        Thanks, Reid!
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        • #5
          Imagine losing your keys on that planet.

          I wish we could see this planet instead of the artist conception. This is exciting!

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          • #6
            Originally posted by DevilSpawn View Post
            Imagine losing your keys on that planet.

            I wish we could see this planet instead of the artist conception. This is exciting!
            I just took a picture of it!!

















            Cool huh?!?!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Hoserman117 View Post
              I just took a picture of it!!





              Cool huh?!?!
              Try again. Looks like your flash was on.
              Thanks, Reid!
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              • #8
                Originally posted by DevilSpawn View Post
                Imagine losing your keys on that planet.

                I wish we could see this planet instead of the artist conception. This is exciting!
                no kidding. i wish we could get awesome glimpses of all of these planets that have been discovered.

                this one is quite intriguing though. along with that other one they think might support life.

                Originally posted by Hoserman117 View Post
                I just took a picture of it!!

















                Cool huh?!?!
                oh mah gosh! you nailed it! lol
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                DISCLAIMER: MY REVIEWS OFTEN CONTAIN SPOILERS. READ AT YOUR OWN RISK.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by jcdavey View Post
                  mustafar

                  Those Mustafarians smoke entirely too much weed.
                  I really like Cheese.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by RealBronco View Post
                    ...where Obi-Wan owned Anakin on?

                    They found it... sort of:



                    okay not really anything like the planet in Star Wars but still kinda sweet.
                    That ones a gas giant, so that epic battle would have been a little different LOL! Thanks for posting either way
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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Garywolf001 View Post
                      That ones a gas giant, so that epic battle would have been a little different LOL! Thanks for posting either way
                      haha yeah... true. well as far as they know.

                      i wonder how accurate they actually are sometimes. what if it's a solid planet that's just huge and has a thick atmosphere from the pits of hell? lol

                      either way it's a pretty interesting combo of stuff that would make it so dark.

                      it's probably the homeworld of dark matter LOL
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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by RealBronco View Post
                        haha yeah... true. well as far as they know.

                        i wonder how accurate they actually are sometimes. what if it's a solid planet that's just huge and has a thick atmosphere from the pits of hell? lol

                        either way it's a pretty interesting combo of stuff that would make it so dark.

                        it's probably the homeworld of dark matter LOL
                        I believe they're going by the elements that make the planet gassy, which made it hard for solid matter to form when the planet itself took shape. Something like that I think.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by DevilSpawn View Post
                          I believe they're going by the elements that make the planet gassy, which made it hard for solid matter to form when the planet itself took shape. Something like that I think.
                          it's also interesting that a lot of the gas giants they're finding are relatively close to their stars, whereas the gas giants of our system are the farthest away from our star.
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                          • #14
                            I know they use the light spectrum to identify the elements in the atmosphere, but I don't know the process they use to tell how dark it is being they can only even tell if a planet is in a stars system by watching the star and waiting for it to flicker, the length of the flicker also reveals the size compared to the star. Maybe they can get a glimpse of the planet as the flicker just pass's out of that flicker, I don't know.
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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by RealBronco View Post
                              it's also interesting that a lot of the gas giants they're finding are relatively close to their stars, whereas the gas giants of our system are the farthest away from our star.
                              I would assume that means the stars they are looking at are smaller than ours, makes sence because a bigger star wouldn't flicker as much so we wouldn't be able to see the planets yet.
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                              I Adopt #77 well damn!
                              Milla Da QB Killa' #77
                              Fox Rocks #77

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