Exoplanets Clue To Sun’s Curious Chemistry

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Artist’s impression of a baby star still surrounded by a protoplanetary disc in which planets are forming.

A ground-breaking census of 500 stars, 70 of which are known to host planets, has successfully linked the long-standing “lithium mystery” observed in the Sun to the presence of planetary systems. Using ESO’s successful HARPS spectrograph, a team of astronomers has found that sun-like stars that host planets have destroyed their lithium much more efficiently than “planet-free” stars.

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