Yesterday was the first live viewing presentation of a planet outside of our solar system. What is the lucky planet that is in the spotlight? That would be TrES-2b, also called the Dark Knight (as seen below).
The exoplanet (planet outside our solar system) gets its name from how dark it is. Imagine the darkest black paint you can think of and TrES-2b is darker than that, only reflecting 1% of light. TrES-2b also orbits not just one but two stars.
The big event yesterday was when the exoplanet crossed in front of one of those stars. This transit caused the star to look less bright because the dark exoplanet was in front blocking some of the light.
You can see the entire broadcast on the Slooh Community Observatory website. Slooh is a service that anyone can pay per month and get access to many different telescopes and observe phenomena of their choosing from their own home. The principal observatory is the Gran Telescopio CANARIAS, located in the Canary Islands in Spain; it is the one of the world’s largest infrared telescopes. Speaking of Spain, Rey Filipe VI, the King of Spain, presided over this event!
This event is FREE for viewing and brought to you by the members and sponsors of Slooh Community Observatory. You can find links to more of their past free shows here. If you are interested in joining Slooh Community Observatory, there is a 30 day free trial and a charge of $4.95 a month thereafter.