Astronomers discover trouble-making 'nemesis' twin of the Sun

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: Dec 10, 2021, 10:21 PM(IST)

This infrared image from the Hubble Space Telescope contains a binary star that is considered to be the twin of the Sun. (Image credit: NASA) Photograph:( Others )

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Nemesis had kicked an asteroid into Earth’s orbit that collided with our planet and exterminated the dinosaurs

Scientists in the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory at Harvard University have discovered a ''nemesis'' of the Sun.

The study, published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, provides evidence that all stars are born in pairs.

According to astronomer Steven Stahler, "We ran a series of statistical models to see if we could account for the relative populations of young single stars and binaries of all separations in the Perseus molecular cloud, and the only model that could reproduce the data was one in which all stars form initially as wide binaries."

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"Our work is a step forward in understanding both how binaries form and also the role that binaries play in early stellar evolution," he added.

Nemesis had kicked an asteroid into Earth’s orbit that collided with our planet and exterminated the dinosaurs. 

The sun’s sibling most likely escaped and mixed with all the other stars in our region of the Milky Way galaxy, never to be seen again.

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The sun appears to be far less active than similar stars in terms of brightness variations caused by sunspots and other phenomena.

An examination of 369 stars similar to the sun in surface temperatures, size, and rotation period, it takes the sun about 25 days to rotate once on its axis, showed that they displayed on average five times more brightness variability than the sun.

Radio waves from a dense cocoon of dust that is located 600-light years ago were mapped out by researchers in a survey called the VLA nascent disk and multiplicity survey (VANDAM).

“The key here is that no one looked before in a systematic way at the relation of real young stars to the clouds that spawn them,” Stahler said.

“Our work is a step forward in understanding both how binaries form and also the role that binaries play in early stellar evolution. We now believe that most stars, which are quite similar to our own sun, form as binaries. I think we have the strongest evidence to date for such an assertion.”

The sun - essentially a hot ball of hydrogen and helium - is an average-sized star that formed more than 4.5 billion years ago and is roughly halfway through its lifespan. Its diameter is about 864,000 miles (1.4 million km). Its surface temperature is about 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit (5,500 degrees Celsius).

(With inputs from agencies)
 

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