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First Planet-Induced Stellar Pulsations

A team of astronomers from MIT and elsewhere have observed a star pulsing in response to its orbiting planet. The star known as HAT-P-2 is circled by a gas giant measuring eight times the mass of Jupiter. Additionally, this star is about 400 light years from Earth, said the scientists.

According to the scientists Jupiter is the most massive exo-planets known today. Planet HAT-P-2 tracks its star in a highly odd orbit, observed the experts. The scientists also added that this planet flies extremely close to and around the star. Moreover, the planet hurtles far out before circling back around.

The researchers used NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope to analyze more than 350 hours of observations of HAT-P-2. As a result the scientists discovered that the star's brightness appears to fluctuate ever so slightly every 87 minutes.

The star seems to vibrate at exact harmonics or multiples of the planet's orbital frequency that is similar to the rate at which the planet circles its star.        



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