A Star's Auroras Light the Way to a New Exoplanet



In doing so, they found GJ 1151, a faint star with a shockingly long-lived emission. GJ 1151 belongs to a class of stars called M dwarfs, which are small, dim, and extremely common; they make up roughly 70% of all stars in the Milky Way. M dwarfs are often extremely magnetically active. Many spin rapidly, sometimes rotating all the way around in just a few hours. This rotation can generate flares.But GJ 1151 is a quieter star, less prone to outbursts than its siblings. And the bright radio activity that Vedantham’s team observed lasted at least eight hours—the total extent of their observation time. Such an extended flare could not have come from inside the star itself.Charged particles from Jupiter’s moons streak down the planet’s magnetic field lines, triggering auroras at its poles.Courtesy of NASAThe radio flare had another curious property. Its light appeared to be created by electrons that were moving in a circle. That’s not what’s expected for an ordinary solar…



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