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Jupiter-Sized Alien Planet Is Darkest Ever (Barely) Seen 207

thebchuckster writes "The darkest alien world ever spotted by astronomers has been discovered in the outskirts of our galaxy. '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,' David Kipping, an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics."
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Jupiter-Sized Alien Planet Is Darkest Ever (Barely) Seen

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  • Kardashev (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Dik Zak ( 974638 ) on Monday August 15, 2011 @06:27AM (#37092416)
    It's also hot in infrared. Isn't this exactly what you would expect to see from a planet with a Kardashev level 1 civilisation?
  • Re:artificial (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Gideon Wells ( 1412675 ) on Monday August 15, 2011 @06:53AM (#37092496)

    I'm sure there is a major flaw in the following hypothesis, but couldn't there be a "dyson sphere" around a planet for different reasons? Dyson Spheres are built around a star as a hypothetical optimal method of complete solar harvesting.

    What if a species not quite that advanced built such a shell around their own world? One flaw is how to best simulate their sun for grass/animals. Holes in the sphere? A series of lights, or a few on a track, that go around the world as needed? It would work best if the species were nocturnal (either by natural or "artificial" evolution at this point). Considering this is "Jupiter sized" then this thing would have enough room for twenty-two Earths to go from one end to another at the equator. There could be a whole planet and moon system inside.

    That much surface area and they might be able to easily simulate their sun on planet for wildlife and then some. According to Wikipedia Jupiter's surface area: 6.1419×1010 km2. Cut that in half since even if the sphere doesn't rotate half of it will be facing their sun, and you have the maximum usable space for solar cells or whatever they are using instead. How much energy would that produce? Unless this thing is a relic left behind, they might not need a full blown Dyson Sphere yet.

    According to the article it is in that star's habital zone. So it is in the right spot if it were a converted habital world. Dyson Sphere may not be the correct term, but the concept itself completely off from what could be here.

    Then again, it could be the universe's largest naturally formed piece of coal or we discovered the home hub of the all consuming nanite swarm.

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