A star born from the same cloud of gas as our sun 4.5 billion years ago has been found at last, astronomers say.
This solar sibling is a little bigger than our sun, and a little hotter at its surface. But an international team of researchers says it has the same chemical fingerprint as the star at the center of our solar system, leading them to conclude both stars were born in the same stellar nursery, at the same time.
“Stars that were born in different clusters have different compositions,” said Ivan Ramirez, an astronomer at the University of Texas at Austin. “If a star has the exact same chemical composition as our sun, that establishes that they were born in the same place.”
Ramirez is the lead author of a paper about the discovery that will be published June 1 in the Astrophysical Journal.
Our sun’s newly discovered solar brother from the same gas-cloud mother is known as HD 162826. It is just 110 light-years away from our sun, which Ramirez said is remarkably close.