Planets, Stars and Star-Planet Interactions

Manfred Cuntz
Dept. of Physics, University of Texas at Arlington


I will present some new results on the observation and characterization of planets in extra-solar systems. So far, more than 100 exosolar planets have been found, and most of them have masses similar to or larger than Jupiter. A subgroup of these planets constitutes close-in giant planets as they orbit their host star at a distance of 0.1 AU or less. These planets are expected to increase stellar activity due to gravitational (tidal) and/or magnetic interaction. Magnetic interaction manifests itself in increased chromospheric and coronal emission, akin to well-known flaring events between interacting stellar binaries, even though occurring on different spatial and temporal scales. Significant observational support for this picture has recently been found by Shkolnik and collaborators, who recorded evidence of planet-modulated Ca II H,K emission in four out of five planet stars. Most intriguingly, these observations confirm earlier theoretical predictions by Cuntz, Saar, and Musielak (2000) [ApJ 533, L151], which will form the basis of future investigations.

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