Jump to content




Welcome to Unexplained Mysteries! Please sign in or create an account to start posting and to access a host of extra features.


- - - - -

A Nearby Twin of the Sun


  • Please log in to reply
5 replies to this topic

#1    Visceral

Visceral

    Ectoplasmic Residue

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 149 posts
  • Joined:11 Jan 2006

Posted 26 March 2006 - 03:55 PM

A Nearby Twin of the Sun

user posted image
HD98618 would look almost identical to our Sun. Image credit: SOHO

ANU astronomers have discovered a nearby solar twin which may shed light on the search for planets that are similar to Earth and that may even support life.

HD98618 is only the second star found so far that is almost identical to the Sun in age, size, temperature and chemistry, according to the researchers Dr Jorge Meléndez, Ms Katie Dodds-Eden and Mr José Robles, from the Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics.

“This solar twin doesn’t only have the same mass as the Sun, it was also formed with the same ‘chemical recipe’. So this star was equipped in the same way as the Sun to form Earth-like planets,” Mr Robles said.

“Hopefully, as new planet finding techniques are developed and refined, astronomers will find whether HD98618 hosts terrestrial planets, which may even contain life.”

HD98618 lies a mere 126 light-years away in the northern constellation of Ursa Major (the ‘Big Dipper’). It is bright enough to see in binoculars, but only in the Northern Hemisphere.

The researchers believe that HD98618 is about four billion years-old, about 10 per cent younger than our own Sun. Its chemical properties are almost identical to the Sun and to the other closest Sun twin, a star known as 18 Scorpii, which was discovered a decade ago.

“It means that hypothetical terrestrial planets around this solar twin may have had enough time to develop some kind of complex life, assuming the time-scale for complex life formation is similar to Earth’s,” Dr Meléndez said.

The team says that focused observations of the two stars by planet-hunter teams could reveal or rule out within a few years giant planets, such as our own Jupiter, around HD98618. “18 Scorpii and HD98618 offer hope to find solar systems similar to our own in the Universe,” Dr Meléndez said.

The discovery also has implications for research in other areas. Solar twins are ideal for the absolute calibration of astronomical measuring instruments. They can provide data useful in modelling the solar phenomena that may affect climate change, and will help settle the argument about the uniqueness or otherwise of our Sun and Solar System.

“We had a number of candidates with similar properties to the Sun, but while we held out hope for each star that it would turn out to be really special, it was not at all certain to happen. HD 98618 was one of the last of our candidates to be analysed, so it was quite a surprise when we discovered how it stood out from the other candidates, together with 18 Scorpii. It was very exciting - I had to blink twice to be sure I wasn’t imagining it,” Ms Dodds-Eden said.

The researchers made the discovery using the largest telescope in the world, the 10m Keck I telescope on the summit of Hawaii’s dormant Mauna Kea volcano.

Their paper detailing the discovery will be published in Astrophysical Journal Letters. Related images are available from the ANU Media Office.

Original Source: ANU News Release

http://www.universetoday.com/am/publish/ne...un.html?2432006



#2    Kryso

Kryso

    Always watching...

  • Member
  • 3,943 posts
  • Joined:21 Sep 2003
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:England

  • Truth titillates the imagination far less than fiction.

Posted 26 March 2006 - 04:02 PM

Quote

“It means that hypothetical terrestrial planets around this solar twin may have had enough time to develop some kind of complex life, assuming the time-scale for complex life formation is similar to Earth’s,” Dr Meléndez said.


Interesting...

Quote

HD98618 lies a mere 126 light-years away in the northern constellation of Ursa Major (the ‘Big Dipper’). It is bright enough to see in binoculars, but only in the Northern Hemisphere.


We may have neighbours closer than we think...


#3    Rykster

Rykster

    Keep thy religion to thyself.

  • Banned
  • 2,132 posts
  • Joined:02 Feb 2006
  • Location:Screaming through the universe on a pale blue dot...Wheee!

  • I debunk you not out of hostility, but rather in search of the truth...

Posted 26 March 2006 - 04:11 PM

My bags are packed!

I wonder if SETI has taken a gander at this beauty?

Posted Image

Resistance is futile!


#4    frogfish

frogfish

    ஆங்கிலத்த&

  • Member
  • 11,142 posts
  • Joined:19 Sep 2005
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:The Swamp

  • Flyfishing -- the Art of the Gods



Posted 26 March 2006 - 05:04 PM

There are should be many stars like our sun, a run-of-the-mill G-dwarf...Useing a H-R diagram, you can find that the Sun is "average" on the Main sequence line.

-Frogfish-
Posted Image
Researcher-Prostate Cancer Oncogene Research
University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center

The National Center for Biotech Information
My Photo Gallery: Capturing India

Fishing is a Way of Life!


#5    shikon1

shikon1

    Extraterrestrial Entity

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 459 posts
  • Joined:15 Jan 2006
  • Location:Chicago

  • Those who sacrifice liberty in the name of security deserve neither.

Posted 27 March 2006 - 07:56 AM

this is extremly interesting

Quote

Yet even as we speak, there are those who are preparing to divide us, the spin masters and negative ad peddlers who embrace the politics of anything goes. Well, I say to them tonight, there's not a liberal America and a conservative America — there's the United States of America. There's not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America; there's the United States of America.

-Barack Obama

#6    Rykster

Rykster

    Keep thy religion to thyself.

  • Banned
  • 2,132 posts
  • Joined:02 Feb 2006
  • Location:Screaming through the universe on a pale blue dot...Wheee!

  • I debunk you not out of hostility, but rather in search of the truth...

Posted 27 March 2006 - 08:27 AM

Quote

There are should be many stars like our sun, a run-of-the-mill G-dwarf...
True Froggy, but the designation "G" is only a spectral class which means that the star shares certain characteristcs with Sol.  What this article is talking about is an even closer match, by elemental content, and age.


Posted Image

Resistance is futile!





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users