University of Texas at Austin researchers lead by Ivan Ramirez have discovered what they believe to be our sun's sibling, a so-called "long-lost brother" believed to have resulted from the same space cloud as our star. The discovery could increase understanding of our solar system.
The discovery is an exciting one, and the possibilities are numerous. According to Ramirez, there is a "small" chance the solar sibling could usher in the discovery of related planets with life. "...it could be argued that solar siblings are key candidates in the search for extraterrestrial life," he said.
This solar sibling star is 15-percent larger that our own sun, and is located in the Hercules constellation 110 light-years away. Dubbed HD 162826, the star can be seen by anyone with low-power binoculars or a more powerful telescope.
As it turns out, HD 162826 has been under observation for over 15 years, only recently being narrowed down as the solar sibling. In the grand scheme of things, this project will help the team create a roadmap for identifying solar siblings, with the data eventually being used to make models to help identify how the sun was formed.
SOURCE: University of Texas