Exoplanets

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Altair

STAR SPIN  Rapidly twirling stars such as Altair (shown; interferometer image, left) have an equatorial bulge that makes them emit more light from their poles than their equator, which could create strange seasons on any orbiting planets.

Illustration of exoplanet CI Tau b

CLOSE UP  Scientists have found an exoplanet 11 times the mass of Jupiter cuddling up to a young star (similar to one illustrated here). The newfound planet, which orbits its 2-million-year-old star once every nine days, could help scientists understand how large planets form near their stars.

lightning storm

EXOPLANET SPARKS Lightning storms on Earth (shown) pale in comparison to those speculated to occur on HAT-P-11b, a planet 124 light-years away.

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