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Waspie_Dwarf

Star’s baffling magnetic flips

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Star Tau Boo’s baffling magnetic flips

The first observations of the complete magnetic cycle of a star other than the Sun are proving a puzzle to astronomers. Tau Boötis, known as Tau Boo (τ Boo), is a yellowish star that is a little brighter than our Sun. It is located 51 light years away in the constellation of Boötes. It is host to a giant exoplanet about six times the mass of Jupiter, which orbits Tau Boo every 3.3 days.

In 2007, the magnetic field of Tau Boo was seen to flip: the first time this was observed to happen in a star other than the Sun. Since then the team has observed four reversals in polarity and is now able to confirm that the star has a rapid magnetic cycle of no more than two years – compared to 22 years for the Sun. This cycle will subject the orbiting hot-Jupiter to very fast changes in its surrounding environment. Dr Rim Fares will present findings at the National Astronomy Meeting in St Andrews on Thursday 4 July.

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Fascinating. I'm glad they are baffled.. as that may lead to new discoveries.

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