Wobbly, Sunlike Star Being Pulled by Giant Alien Planet
By analyzing sonic vibrations in a distant sunlike star, astronomers might have calculated exactly how fast the star spins and how much a nearby giant alien planet weighs.
Stars, including the sun, experience sound waves that zip around inside them and cause tiny rhythmic fluctuations in their brightness. By studying these variations, scientists can better understand the interiors of stars— an emerging scientific field known as asteroseismology that is akin to seismology on Earth, which helps geologists yield insights into the innards of this planet.
Scientists used the COROT satellite to analyze the sunlike star HD 52265, located more than 90 light-years from Earth in the constellation Monoceros, the Unicorn. The star, which has a mass about 1.2 times that of the sun and a diameter 1.3 times greater than the sun's, is about 2.1 billion to 2.7 billion years old.