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Star-planet systems: tau Boo


tau Boo   Can close-in planets influence their parent stars ?

The star tau Boo has recently been observed to change the polarity of its large-scale field over a timescale of about 1 year (Donati et al, arXiv:0802.1584). This suggests it may have a magnetic cycle much shorter than the 11-years we observe on the Sun. The cause may be the presence of a massive, close-in planet that has synchronised the stellar rotation to the planet's orbit.


  Picture credit: Donati & Jardine