Author Topic: One of the Sun's Sibling Stars Has Been Found. And It's Actually Pretty Close  (Read 156 times)

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Thanks to the hardworking Gaia spacecraft, astronomers think they’ve located a star that formed from the same solar nebula as the Sun. In fact, this star is a virtual twin of the Sun and it’s actually pretty close. Well, astronomical speaking.

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"In life, unlike chess, the game continues after checkmate."
Isaac Asimov

Offline Hydra009

And a mere 184 light years away.

Yeah, it's right next door - let's go!
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"In life, unlike chess, the game continues after checkmate."
Isaac Asimov

Offline trdsf

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And a mere 184 light years away.
If it proves to be an actual solar sibling and not just a star with similar chemistry, I should think the fact that we find it that nearby would suggest our sun was born of a large nebula.  Alternately, maybe we shouldn't be surprised to find one nearby even 4.5 billion years later, simply because as a simple matter of all starting from the same place with broadly similar vectors, the sun and its siblings shouldn't have strayed all that far from each other.

Is there an astrophysicist in the audience?
Sir Terry Pratchett, on being told about the theory that the universe is a computer simulation: "If we all get out and in again, would it start to work properly this time?"

Offline Hydra009

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If it proves to be an actual solar sibling and not just a star with similar chemistry, I should think the fact that we find it that nearby would suggest our sun was born of a large nebula.  Alternately, maybe we shouldn't be surprised to find one nearby even 4.5 billion years later, simply because as a simple matter of all starting from the same place with broadly similar vectors, the sun and its siblings shouldn't have strayed all that far from each other.

Is there an astrophysicist in the audience?
Just a layman here.  But You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login says that both suns (stars?) might have been born from the same star cluster.  Also, stars can disperse a little bit, so 184 light years isn't an implausible distance.  And finally, out of all the candidate stars out there, this one is more similar to our sun than them.  It's not definitive proof that they were formed together, but there's a hell of a resemblance.

Offline Cavebear

I've read enough serious science articles and seen enough science TV to have gotten the idea that common birth stars travel off in different paths around the galaxy to be far away from each other in a short (by galactic terms) time.  The idea that stellar birth suns stay near is unlikely unless there is a specific long term gravitational relationship.  Which is unlikely given the random gravitational influences of other stars, galactic revolutions, and the natural wobble of stars above and below the galactic plane.   And not to mention dark matter.
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!

Offline Baruch

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I've read enough serious science articles and seen enough science TV to have gotten the idea that common birth stars travel off in different paths around the galaxy to be far away from each other in a short (by galactic terms) time.  The idea that stellar birth suns stay near is unlikely unless there is a specific long term gravitational relationship.  Which is unlikely given the random gravitational influences of other stars, galactic revolutions, and the natural wobble of stars above and below the galactic plane.   And not to mention dark matter.

Correct ... 230 million years for the Sun to go around the Galaxy once.  So we have been around 18 times now.  Think of coffee creamer stirred into coffee.
πŽπŽœπŽœπŽŸπŽŒπŽ€πŽπŽŽπŽ€πŽ€πŽšπŽ€πŽŸπŽπŽœπŽœπŽŸπŽπŽ€πŽπŽ‰πŽ€πŽ€πŽšπŽ€
luu shalmaata luu balt’aata
May you be well, may you be healthy

Offline trdsf

The key thing, of course, is that our own existence demonstrates that stars coming out of that same nebula would have formed with enough heavy elements ("heavy" meaning anything not hydrogen or helium) to permit the development of complex life. It doesn't mean there is life, but it does mean these are places we can be fairly confident of having all the necessary ingredients.  That's terrifically important, especially if we find a solar sibling that's also long-lived stable star like ours -- that's a known potential habitat, not just a possible or theoretical one.
Sir Terry Pratchett, on being told about the theory that the universe is a computer simulation: "If we all get out and in again, would it start to work properly this time?"

It would be interesting to find that the star has planets, especially if there are any in the habitable zone. I doubt there's a second "Earth" there, though.
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"In life, unlike chess, the game continues after checkmate."
Isaac Asimov

Offline trdsf

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It would be interesting to find that the star has planets, especially if there are any in the habitable zone. I doubt there's a second "Earth" there, though.
True and true.  All we can say about a solar sibling is that it has all the necessary parts, not that they've actually developed into anything.  However, if there's good reason to think it came from the same nebula our sun did, that alone is a good reason to examine it for planets, because we know it came out of a nebula with the material to produce them.

And if we find one, as long as it's not a Jupiter-class world on a highly elliptical orbit, start listening.  There might not be a terrestrial planet in the sweet spot, but there might be.
Sir Terry Pratchett, on being told about the theory that the universe is a computer simulation: "If we all get out and in again, would it start to work properly this time?"

Yeah, we'll never know unless we look. I bet they're already looking closely at it. I sure would be, if I had the instruments.
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"In life, unlike chess, the game continues after checkmate."
Isaac Asimov

Offline Cavebear

I consider that there are 2 possibilities of life in the universe.  There might be just one (us). Or there might be 3 or more.   

But there can't be just 2.

One is a fluke, not likely to be repeated.  3 or more suggests it is common.  And if 3, multitudes...

But you just can't have 2 "flukes"...

So we are either alone or of multitudes...
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!

Offline Baruch

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I consider that there are 2 possibilities of life in the universe.  There might be just one (us). Or there might be 3 or more.   

But there can't be just 2.

One is a fluke, not likely to be repeated.  3 or more suggests it is common.  And if 3, multitudes...

But you just can't have 2 "flukes"...

So we are either alone or of multitudes...

There is no life.  Just dead atoms moving randomly.
πŽπŽœπŽœπŽŸπŽŒπŽ€πŽπŽŽπŽ€πŽ€πŽšπŽ€πŽŸπŽπŽœπŽœπŽŸπŽπŽ€πŽπŽ‰πŽ€πŽ€πŽšπŽ€
luu shalmaata luu balt’aata
May you be well, may you be healthy

Offline Cavebear

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There is no life.  Just dead atoms moving randomly.

Atoms are neither alive nor dead.  Try again...  And, BTW, consider reading the Sept 2018 Scientific American mag.  You will love it.
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!

Offline Baruch

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Atoms are neither alive nor dead.  Try again...  And, BTW, consider reading the Sept 2018 Scientific American mag.  You will love it.

Blog posts are both meaningful and meaningless.
πŽπŽœπŽœπŽŸπŽŒπŽ€πŽπŽŽπŽ€πŽ€πŽšπŽ€πŽŸπŽπŽœπŽœπŽŸπŽπŽ€πŽπŽ‰πŽ€πŽ€πŽšπŽ€
luu shalmaata luu balt’aata
May you be well, may you be healthy

 

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