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Did the Sun once have a companion star ?

Posted on Wednesday, 14 June, 2017 | Comment icon 8 comments

Did the Sun have a companion and if so, where did it go ? Image Credit: NASA
New evidence has suggested that all the sunlike stars in the universe may have formed together in pairs.
The findings, which were based on a recent radio survey of a giant molecular cloud full of recently formed stars in the constellation Perseus, suggest that stars do not form individually but are instead born in pairs which later drift apart around one million years later.

Intriguingly, this would also mean that our own Sun once had its own companion - a star often referred to as 'Nemesis' and for which astronomers have been searching for years.

"We are saying, yes, there probably was a Nemesis, a long time ago," said study co-author 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."

"These systems then either shrink or break apart within a million years."

A "wide binary" is a pair of stars around 500 astronomical units apart which in this case would have placed our own Sun's companion star 17 times further away from the Earth than Neptune.

At some point in the distant past it would have likely escaped and headed off in to the galaxy.

Exactly where it is now however remains a total mystery.

Source: | Comments (8)

Tags: Sun, Nemesis

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Ryu on 14 June, 2017, 19:23
I do recall reading that our sun had, and may still have, a companion star. Furthermore I had read that our solar system revolves around other systems so that everything is in constant motion, like the tiny gears of a very intricate watch. I found this article and while six years old it has a lot of interesting info and a cool video that explains much. (It's a bit brainy but you get the gist of it) At any rate I see no reason why our sun wouldn't have a companion (i.e a binary system) as this se... [More]
Comment icon #2 Posted by Ozfactor on 15 June, 2017, 0:45
my first thought was they must merge together to form one sun , but the article says the twin sun drifts away into the galaxy . wandering stars
Comment icon #3 Posted by Noxasa on 15 June, 2017, 5:39
I get confused with all the theories surrounding extra solar bodies of our planetary system's past, present and future. There's this Nemisis star, possibly a now brown dwarf star, that this article mentions that has mysteriously wandered off into the cosmos, or is hiding out in the Oort Cloud somewhere. Then there's that Planet X theory...which I think is the same as Nibiru but I'm not sure, that we keep hearing about that will wipe out humanity in the next month, year or decade. Of course these predictions follow the previous thousand+ predictions of Earth's demise by this mysterious plane... [More]
Comment icon #4 Posted by taniwha on 15 June, 2017, 8:28
Yes, same goes for theories on how our moon came to be, not to mention black holes, and basically everything else in the universe including life itself. But it is fun to consider them no matter how outrageous.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Mr Supertypo on 15 June, 2017, 10:43
could we not create a plausible time line ie four billion years ago, just saying. And then look at the stars that are that far away?
Comment icon #6 Posted by Astra. on 15 June, 2017, 11:39
Sounds nice.
Comment icon #7 Posted by paperdyer on 15 June, 2017, 16:59
Is Jupiter still thought to be an a star that did not ignite? If so, maybe our binary didn't form properly.
Comment icon #8 Posted by TripGun on 16 June, 2017, 12:06

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