Astronomers May Have Discovered Sun’s Identical Twin

Posted: Nov 21 2018, 7:06pm CST | by , Updated: Nov 21 2018, 7:08pm CST, in News | Latest Science News

 
Astronomers may have Discovered Sun’s Identical Twin
Credit: SDO/NASA

HD186302 is a G3-type main sequence star that has age and chemical composition similar to our sun.

Researchers believe they have finally found a star identical to our sun. The newfound object, dubbed HD186302, is a G3-type main sequence star that is similar to our sun in terms of both age and chemical composition. Furthermore, it is not only a solar sibling, but also a solar twin.

Stars generally are not born alone. They form inside massive star clusters and even binary star systems which means that almost all newborn stars have a companion. But explaining why some stars are loners while others have two or three companions have been something of a mystery.

Astronomers have long searched for a companion to our sun as well. They believe that thousands of stars formed in the same massive cluster as the sun about 4.6 billion years ago. But the cluster eventually dispersed and stars inside it scattered throughout the galaxy, making it very difficult to find them.

The idea that all stars form with a companion have important implications, not just for stars' activity, but also for the formation of those stars within galaxies.

“Since there isn't much information about the sun's past, studying these stars can help us understand where in the Galaxy and under which conditions the sun was formed.” Vardan Adibekyan Instituto de Astrofísica e Ciências do Espaço (IA) said in a statement.

In the latest effort, researchers used a novel method to detect solar siblings. They took a sample of 230 000 spectra from the AMBRE project, which is a galactic archaeology project set up by European Space Observatory. Then, they combined this very high quality spectral data with recent astrometric data retrieved from European Space Agency’s GAIA mission and made a selection of stars with chemical compositions, age and kinematic properties similar to sun.

By comparing the results of AMBRE project with GAIA data, researchers have made the discovery of a single solar sibling. Solar siblings are ideal candidates for searching life beyond our solar system.

Vardan Adibekyan says. “Some theoretical calculations show that there is non-negligible probability that life spread from Earth to other planets or explanatory systems, during the period of the late heavy bombardment. If we are lucky, and our sibling candidate has a planet, and the planet is a rocky type, in the habitable zone, and finally if this planet was 'contaminated' by the life seeds from Earth, then we have what one could dream – an Earth 2.0, orbiting a sun 2.0.”

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/47" rel="author">Hira Bashir</a>
The latest discoveries in science are the passion of Hira Bashir (). With years of experience, she is able to spot the most interesting new achievements of scientists around the world and cover them in easy to understand reporting.

 

 

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