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Strange planet is blacker than coal

PARIS — A planet orbiting a distant star is darker than coal, reflecting less than one percent of the sunlight falling on it, according to a paper published on Thursday. The strange world, TrES-2b, is a gas giant the size of Jupiter, rather than a solid, rocky body like Earth…

Black hole shreds star, sparking gamma ray flash

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A monster black hole shredded a Sun-like star, producing a strangely long-lasting flash of gamma rays that probably won’t be seen again in a million years, astronomers reported on Thursday. That is definitely not the norm for gamma ray bursts, energetic blasts that typically flare up and…