How a Planet Can Mess Up a Star's LooksSubmitted by chandra on Thu, 2014-09-18 15:38
Note: An earlier version of this article appeared on Peter Edmonds' blog.
Recently, beautiful photos of auroras have been in the news. These colorful light shows were generated by solar storms, and provide a vivid demonstration of activity on the Sun affecting the Earth. The pummeling experienced by our home planet is an example of our one-way relationship with the Sun: it can have a noticeable effect on the Earth, but the Earth has a negligible effect on the Sun. Further afield in the galaxy, this isn't always the case. In a few other systems planets can have a big effect on their star, changing their looks in surprising ways.
A spectacular picture of auroras by photographer Mike Taylor taken over Unity Pond in Waldo County, Maine on September 12, 2014. Credit: Mike Taylor photography.