Astronomers New Centre of Attraction: Suns Sibling

Sun's Sibling: Brother or Sister?


Research astronomers most recent centre of attraction is the finding of the Sun’s twin sibling. As for this sibling, where there is a sibling involved, there is rivalry involved: is it a brother or sister?  Well, at this point, that battle is ongoing. What the astronomers agree on is that this new star is likely formed from the same cloud of dust and gas as our current Sun that we know. Speaking in interstellar terms, that means we have a DNA match.  NASA has been positioned to capture the movement within the solar system through NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory.

Yes, this sibling does have a name. It is HD 162826. Although its name is a bit more complicated than just Sun, it is also 15 percent more massive in size and has a much hotter surface. The location of this new star is in the constellation Hercules, and is about 110 light years away, which is considered to be close. For star-gazer’s, this star can be watched with low-power binoculars, as it cannot be seen with the naked eye. Another clue is that it is in close proximity to Vega, known as the bright star.

Researchers from the University of Texas, have uncovered clues as to how our Sun was formed. This new study is expected to disclose how life was formed billions of years ago in the universe. Next month, details of these findings will be published in the Astrophysical Journal. Ivan Ramirez was the lead researcher that led this team of eight. These astronomers have studied 23 stars in detail, using the Harlan J. Smith Telescope at the McDonald Observatory. The same researchers utilized the Clay Magellan Telescope at Las Campanas Observatory in Chile to study several other stars which are visible only from the southern hemisphere. These telescopes enable researchers to probe the chemical make-up of each star through high-resolution spectroscopy. Questions are being raised as to whether solar siblings could harbour life on other planets. Ramirez says that astronomers will continue the search for extraterrestrial life.

According to Ramirez, the next conquest for his team is to create a road map for solar siblings; a solar family tree so-to-speak. His theory is that the sun was birthed within a grouping of 100,000 stars in a cluster. Astronomers believe that these stars are born in stellar nurseries, and that the family disbands over time by separating out into different parts of the galaxy known as the Milky Way. Ramirez believes that tracking stars with the same galactic DNA, will be critical to streamlining the identification process within the solar system. He stated that much data is streaming in and expects the data to increase so much within the next five to ten years, that they will be able to analyze at least 10,000 more stars than they are currently capable of doing. This new centre of attraction of the Sun’s sibling is huge according to astronomers and NASA.

Other researchers, Michael Cochran from the University of Texas, and Rob Wittenmyer of the University of New South Wales, have ruled out the possibility of “hot Jupiters” to be orbiting near this new sibling sun. The original purpose for all of this research was to find more efficient ways of locating other solar siblings in the future, and to search for specific chemical elements. As for now, the astronomers will delve deeper into space as they continue to focus on this new center of attraction; the Sun’s sibling.

By Jill Boyer-Adriance

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