The idea that our sun has a nearly identical twin somewhere in the universe has long been suggested by experts.
Image Credit: ipicgr / Pixabay. CC0 Creative Commons
Until now, that idea remained just another cosmic theory.
Now, an international team of scientists seems to have discovered our Sun’s identical twin, both by age and chemical composition.
And the researchers emphasize that it is not a simple brother, but a solar twin.
Even more interesting is the suggestion that this star could have a planet similar to ours; Earth 2.0.
The Sun’stwin is thought to have been created from the same gas cloud, some 4.6 billion years ago.
It has been dubbed HD 186302 and, it is located some 184 light-years away.
As noted by Science Alert, the newly found Star is a “G-type main-sequence star just a teeny tiny smidge bigger than the Sun, and around about the same surface temperature and luminosity”.
Solar siblings are thought to form from the same stellar nursery. Stellar nurseries are massive swirls of gas and dust that collapse, scattering stars across the universe.
In fact, astronomers believe that as much as 85 percent of all stare forme din binary pairs. However, once these stars were disbanded through the galaxy, they are nearly impossible to find, because there are so many stars in the Milky Way.
Vardan Adibekyan, the lead researcher of the new study, and a researcher from the Instituto de Astrofísica e Ciências do Espaço (IA) in Portugal explains:
“Since there isn’t much information about the sun’s past, studying these stars can help us understand where in the Galaxy and under which conditions the sun was formed”.
To find our stellar twin, astronomers made use of data from the AMBRE project as well as precise astronomical data from ESA’s GAIA mission.
Using the astronomical data, astronomers made “a selection of stars with chemical compositions which best match the sun’s composition, followed by an estimate of these stars age and kinematic properties’, explained Dr. Adibekyan.
And according to a paper published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, HD186302 is our sun’s solar sibling both age and chemical composition.
And it is precisely these solar siblings where astronomers believe we may find alien life.
That’s mostly because there are great chances that microorganisms may have been transported (interstellar lithopanspermia) between different planets around different stars inside the same solar cluster.
“Some theoretical calculations show that there is a non-negligible probability that life spread from Earth to other planets or exoplanetary systems, during the period of the late heavy bombardment”, said Dr. Adibekyan.
“If we are lucky, and our sibling candidate has a planet, and the planet is a rocky type, in the habitable zone, and finally if this planet was ‘contaminated’ by the life seeds from Earth, then we have what one could dream – an Earth 2.0, orbiting a Sun 2.0,” added Dr.Adibekyan.