WASP-104b, the darkest extrasolar planet in the universe


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The strange thing is that the extra-solar planet is located near the sun.
WASP-104b was discovered in 2014 and the astronomers who made this great find mentioned that the extrasolar planet is located about 466 light years from the earth, a minimum distance in comparison to the other planets in our solar system, but one of the most striking aspects of the celestial body is the fact that they are kept in complete darkness, entering the list of the 5 darkest planets in the universe.

Although the planet is orbiting near Jupiter once every 1.75 days, its distance from the sun is extremely short, so much so that it can absorb about 99% of the sunlight. The problem or the really curious thing about WASP-104b, is that unlike the planets of the solar system that revolve around the sun, it remains static, making only half the planet have an illuminated area and the other half is in complete darkness, an endless night. Let us remember that there are not many celestial bodies that share these types of characteristics.


How are the properties of an extrasolar planet studied?
The research that has been done to study the planet was done under the transit method, that is, the darkness of a celestial body can be measured through the planets that pass in front of it. Another characteristic that we should highlight about WASP-104b, is that it is called “hot Jupiter”, this is because its mass is similar to that of Jupiter but is especially close to the sun.

Teo Mocnik, director of the planet’s research, revealed that WASP-104b could top the list of the 5 darkest planets in the universe, although currently the planet TrES-2b is the first in the list because it only reflects 0.01% of the light it absorbs. These facts are extremely staggering and warrant further investigation.


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