Hot Jupiter WASP-104b Is Darker Than Charcoal

Posted: Apr 23 2018, 3:59am CDT | by , in Latest Science News


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Hot Jupiter WASP-104b is Darker Than Charcoal
Artist’s impression of a hot Jupiter. Using new data from the K2 mission. / Credit: NASA

WASP-104b is one of the least-reflective planets found to date.

WASP-104b, a so-called Hot Jupiter, has been identified in a new research as one of the least-reflective planets found to date. Astronomers classify a planet as a "Hot Jupiter" that are gas giant exoplanets, physically similar to Jupiter but that has a very short orbital period with less than 10 days. The close proximity to their stars and high surface-atmosphere temperatures resulted in the moniker "hot Jupiters."

Researchers a the Keele University in the UK found the unique characteristic of WASP-104b by analyzing Kepler's K2 short-cadence data from Campaign 14. The exoplanet's close proximity to its star, a yellow dwarf, is likely the reason for the darkness.

Most hot Jupiters including the WASP-104b are tidally locked. One side of the planet always faces its star, making it the permanent day side. In the case of WASP-104b, the distance is only 2.6 million miles from the star and it only needs 1.75 days for a full orbit, according to ScienceAlert. Lead researcher Teo Mocnik talked to New Scientist about discovery (paywall).

The WASP-104b exoplanet was discovered back in 2014, along with the WASP-106b.

The detailed research can be found in the paper titled "WASP-104b is Darker than Charcoal" authored by T. Močnik, C. Hellier, J. Southworth and published in the Cornell University Library under arXiv:1804.05334.

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