Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Young Active Star Resembles The Sun When It Was Young

Date:
December 23, 2008
Source:
INAF-Italian National Institute for Astrophysics
Summary:
Astronomers recently observed a star analogous to the young Sun at an age of approximately 500 million years, named CoRoTExo-2a. This star is accompanied by a giant planet orbiting around it in only 1.7 days.

Artist's illustration of CoRoT satellite
Credit: Copyright CNES 2006, by D. Ducros; courtesy of INAF-Italian National Institute for Astrophysics

The CoRoT satellite*, has recently observed a star analogous to the young Sun at an age of approximately 500 million years, named CoRoTExo-2a. This star is accompanied by a giant planet orbiting around it in only 1.7 days, that was discovered by the CoRoT Extrasolar Planet Team.

An investigation on the intrinsic variations of the star has been carried out by another international team, led by astronomers of the Italian National Institute for Astrophysics (INAF) at Catania Astrophysical Observatory with the support of the Italian Space Agency (ASI).

With its very high photometric accuracy and the long duration of continuous observations, CoRoT has been able for the first time to measure the variations of the intensity of the star and follow it for more than 150 days. These unique data show flux variations of about 6 percent, at least 20 times greater than those of the present Sun, with a periodic modulation of 4.5 days. They are produced by spots, analogous to sunspots, but having a correspondingly larger area, that evolve continuously as the star rotates.

CoRoT observations revealed an unexpected phenomenon: the spotted area oscillates with a mini-cycle of only 29 days. In the Sun, such mini-cycles have sometimes been observed close to the maxima of the main 11-year cycle, with a period of about 150 days. They have been accompanied by corresponding modulations in the frequency and intensity of solar flares, whose energetic radiation impacted upon the planets. The shorter period observed in CoRoT-Exo-2a may be due to its faster rotation or the perturbations induced by the close giant planet, orbiting at a distance of only 4.2 million kilometers from the star, i.e., only 3 percent the distance between the Sun and the Earth.

Our Sun, during the evolutionary stage corresponding to that of CoRoT-Exo-2a, was shining on the Earth when the processes that would have led to the appearance of life had just begun. The presence of an intense magnetic activity on the young Sun and its light variability certainly affected those processes. The study of Sun-like stars with the CoRoT satellite and other spaceborne or ground-based telescopes will contribute to our understanding of the influence of stars on their planets during those crucial phases of their evolution. In the specific case of CoRoTExo-2a, additionally interesting results are expected from future observations, also with ground-based telescopes, to confirm the possible effect of the giant planet on stellar magnetic activity.

*The CoRot satelillte is a space mission led by the French Space Agency CNES with the participation of Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Germany, Spain and the European Space Agency, ESA (RSSD and Science programme, that includes an Italian contribution).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by INAF-Italian National Institute for Astrophysics. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. A. F. Lanza, I. Pagano, G. Leto, S. Messina, S. Aigrain, R. Alonso, M. Auvergne, A. Baglin, P. Barge, A. S. Bonomo, P. Boumier, A. Collier Cameron, M. Comparato, G. Cutispoto, J. R. De Medeiros, B. Foing, A. Kaiser, C. Moutou, P. S. Parihar, A. Silva-Valio, and W. W. Weiss. Magnetic activity in the photosphere of CoRoT-Exo-2a. Active longitudes and short-term spot cycle in a young Sun-like star. Astronomy & Astrophysics, vol. 493-1, p. 193; Dec. 23, 2008 DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:200810591

Cite This Page:

INAF-Italian National Institute for Astrophysics. "Young Active Star Resembles The Sun When It Was Young." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 December 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081222163112.htm>.
INAF-Italian National Institute for Astrophysics. (2008, December 23). Young Active Star Resembles The Sun When It Was Young. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081222163112.htm
INAF-Italian National Institute for Astrophysics. "Young Active Star Resembles The Sun When It Was Young." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081222163112.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Space & Time News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

This Week @ NASA, July 25, 2014

This Week @ NASA, July 25, 2014

NASA (July 25, 2014) Apollo 11 celebration, Next Giant Leap anticipation, ISS astronauts appear in the House and more... Video provided by NASA
Powered by NewsLook.com
Space to Ground: Coming and Going

Space to Ground: Coming and Going

NASA (July 25, 2014) One station cargo ship leaves, another arrives, aquatic research and commercial spinoffs. Questions or comments? Use #spacetoground to talk to us. Video provided by NASA
Powered by NewsLook.com
How A Solar Flare Could Have Wrecked Earth's Electronics

How A Solar Flare Could Have Wrecked Earth's Electronics

Newsy (July 25, 2014) Researchers say if Earth had been a week earlier in its orbit around the sun, it would have taken a direct hit from a 2012 coronal mass ejection. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan

Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan

AP (July 23, 2014) The Progress 56 cargo ship launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan Wednesday. NASA says it will deliver cargo and crew supplies to the International Space Station. (July 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins