Our star is not alone. Image Credit: SOHO/EIT
A star that formed in the same stellar nursery as our Sun has been discovered 110 light years away.
Stars form not one at a time but in large numbers within huge interstellar clouds of gas and dust. Our own sun is believed to have anywhere up to 10,000 brothers and sisters but over billions of years these have all ended up on different paths to distant parts of the galaxy.
Now thanks to a new technique developed at the University of Texas however it has finally become possible to identify which stars those might be. Ivan Ramirez believes that he has found the first - a star located 110 light years away known as HD 162826.
"We were really just doing this as an experiment," he said. "The fact that we actually found it makes this even cooler." The method involves looking for signs of the chemical composition that all stars from the same stellar nursery share - a 'cosmic DNA' that can help identify them.
The fact that even a single one of the sun's siblings has been found within such close proximity of us is actually quite unexpected. "Estimates of how many we’d be likely to find here in the solar neighborhood have been quite pessimistic," said Ramirez.
Source: TIME | Comments (23)