Nearly 1,400 light years away, a pitch black planet is slowly being devoured by its star. Termed as “hot Jupiter” this planet is really very hot due to its close proximity to its star. The planet is egg shaped due to the star’s gravity acting upon it. Since its discovery in the year 2008, this dark planet has been a subject of interest for the scientists. This Exo-planet is not the only dark planet but what makes it interesting is that it’s the only planet which is extremely hot as well as dark. The darkness surrounding the planet’s atmosphere has been said to be as dark as fresh asphalt. Other dark planets are way cooler than this particular planet.
WASP-12b was observed by the scientists because they were very keen to know the reason behind it being so dark as well as hot. The planet has nearly twice the radius of Jupiter’s and is really close to another planet WASP-12a in that particular solar system. A single Earth day is equal to a year at WASP-12b. The surface temperature is said to be 2600 degree Celsius which is being stretched by its sun to form an egg shaped planet.
The planet reflects just 6.4% of the total light but darker planets have been found which reflects only one percent of the total light back in 2011. The only difference being the other one is way cooler than WASP-12b.The planet is more like a star rather than a planet as each n every such planet that the scientists came across had hydrogen and helium as the main components.
According to the paper submitted to the Astrophysical Journal, the scientists measured the reflectivity of this planet down to specific colors which have only been done for one other planet HD 189733b. The reports suggest that the planet WASP-12b doesn’t seem to have any color preference for the light it reflects but it sure does glow red like a metal from the surface heat due to its close proximity to its star.
The first hot Jupiter seemed to have a preference and reflected more light towards the blue end of the spectrum but WASP-12b doesn’t seem to discriminate between any colors. WASP-12b has a reflectivity of 0.064 as compared to Earth’s reflectivity of 0.37. Saturn’s moon Enceladus is the extraterrestrial body with the highest reflectivity of 1.4.