(ORDO NEWS) — It turns out that the planets have more mysterious power in the universe than we think.
They orbit and manipulate their host stars into “feeling” younger than their age. That is, the whole Universe works as one big mechanism.
A new study by the Chandra X-ray Observatory shows that some planets appear to be slowing down the aging process of their host stars.
For the first time, astronomers have recorded the “anti-aging” property of exoplanets orbiting a star in Mercury’s orbit or close to it.
Such planets are called hot Jupiters. A new study reveals an unusual phenomenon that has long worried astronomers around the world.
The researchers found that a hot Jupiter could potentially exert tidal forces on its host star, causing the star to spin faster.
“The study gives us confidence that hot Jupiters actually make the stars they orbit look younger than they really are,” said study participant Nikoleta Ilich of the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics in Potsdam.
Fast rotation can make a star more active and produce more X-rays, which is mostly the case with young stars.
The team explored a binary star system in which the stars are far apart, but only one of them has a hot Jupiter orbiting it.
The distance between the stars is too great for them to influence each other, or for hot Jupiter to influence another star.
This means that astronomers can use a star with no planets in the system as an object to study.
“It’s almost like using twins in a study where one twin lives in a completely different area, which affects their health.”
By comparing one star with a neighboring planet with its twin without it, we can study the differences in the behavior of stars of the same age,” added study co-author Katja Poppenhaeger.
The team analyzed the amount of X-rays emitted to determine how “young” the star was and looked for evidence of a planet’s influence on the star.
After studying almost three dozen systems, they found that stars with hot Jupiters tend to be brighter in X-rays and therefore more active than their companion stars without hot Jupiters.
“There have been some intriguing hints in previous cases, but now we finally have statistical evidence that some planets do influence their stars and keep them young,” said study co-author Marzieh Hossain.
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