If you took cross sections of Earth, it wouldn't be perfectly spherical. That's partly due to the Earth's rotation, but another reason is because the Moon pulls on Earth's water, creating bulges around its waistline. Now imagine if that gravity weren't coming from a small, cold moon, but from a big, hot star instead. For planets that orbit close to their stars, the combination of heat and gravity could distort even a rocky crust, making the planet look squashed. Researchers, led by Prabal Saxena of George Mason University, expect to find these elongated planets primarily around red dwarf stars, which are the most common stars in our galaxy.