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Iron-rich stars host shorter-period planets

Astronomers with the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) have learned that the chemical composition of a star can exert unexpected influence on its planetary system — a discovery made possible by an ongoing SDSS survey of stars seen by NASA’s Kepler spacecraft, and one that promises to expand our understanding of how extrasolar planets form and evolve.

An artist’s rendering of how the iron content of a star can impact its planets. A…

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