First Sibling of Sun Discovered

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By Parismita Goswami | May 9, 2014 10:16 PM EST

Researchers have identified the first sibling of the Sun; a star born out of the same molecular composition as that of the Sun.

NASA
First sibling of Sun discovered (NASA)

Researchers believe that the discovery will provide new facts about the Sun and details on where and how it was born. The newly discovered star, named HD 162826, is positioned 110 light years away in a constellation called Hercules, according to Ivan Ramirez of the University of Texas; the lead author of the study.

"This star is a little bit bigger than the Sun, it's a little bit warmer on the surface, and obviously is the same age, because it was born at the same time," ABC quoted Ramirez.

The Sun and the other stars were all formed during the collapse of the same molecular gas and dust clouds that occurred about 4.6 billion years ago. The collapse resulted in group of stars which moved apart.

"We did hundreds of simulations to determine not just how the stars are moving today, but by turning the clock back in time and using gravity dynamics, to see how they were moving in the past," Ramirez pointed out.

The team of researchers identified HD 162826 as the sibling of the Sun by checking on to 30 probable candidates. 23 of these stars were studied in detail by using Harlan J. Smith Telescope at McDonald Observatory, and the rest of the stars with the Clay Magellan Telescope at Las Campanas Observatory in Chile. High-resolution spectroscopy was used to understand the chemical composition of the stars.

"We can say that this star doesn't have a big hot Jupiter type massive planet orbiting very close to it, because previous searches for planets around this star haven't found any. But small planets like Earth are difficult to detect," he added.

(Ed: VP)

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(Photo: NASA / )
First sibling of Sun discovered (NASA)
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