Tag Archives: WASP-18

NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory observes WASP-18

NASA have put out a press release about an observation of WASP-18 by the Chandra X-ray observatory.

WASP-18 was the first planet discovered to have an orbital period of less than 1 day and has the highest tidal interaction between a planet and a star of any known planetary system.

“We think the planet is ageing the star by wreaking havoc on its innards”, report the authors of the paper, “The planet’s gravity may cause motions of gas in the interior of the star that weaken the convection”, which “results in the magnetic field becoming weaker and the star to age prematurely”.

NASA have also produced a nice graphic of WASP-18 and its planet (image credit: NASA/CXC/M.Weiss):

wasp18_chandra

The press release has been picked up by several media outlets including Astronomy magazine, Phys.org, the Daily Mail online, and the International Business Times. (Spot the error in the last outlet’s sentence that: “Scientists have used data provided by NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory to find a planet that causes the star it orbits to act much older than it actually is, according to a new study” (added emphasis)!)

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