A new study is bringing evidence in favor of a decade’s old cause of speculations revolving around the Sun and the Nemesis, its twin. This new research advances the belief and claims that not only our Sun but also almost all sun-like stars are seemingly born with a companion.
For some decades now, scientists have been discussing the possibility that the Sun could have been born with a twin. This star was believed to have ‘jostled’ comets out of their usual paths because of its gravitational tug. The change in orbit could have also sent them hurtling towards Earth, so most saw it as the “evil twin” and started calling it Nemesis.
Nemesis: Neither Evil Nor an Exception
A new study took a closer look at the possibility of stars being born with a companion. In doing so, it also cleared up Nemesis’s name. It did so by suggesting that not only our Sun but all Sun-like stars are born with a twin.
According to the study team, Nemesis probably broke away from its more famous sibling. As it did so, it also probably melted away into the stellar population of the Milky Way galaxy some billions of years ago.
This new research was by Steven Stahler and Sarah Sadavoy from the University of California, Berkeley and the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory respectively. Research results are based on observational tests. The team took to studying the Perseus molecular cloud, which is a vast star-forming region situated some 600 light-years from our planet.
Radio observations discovered 24 multistar systems, with many of them being binary, and also 45 single-star systems. They also found 55 young stars.
“The key here is that no one looked before in a systematic way at the relation of real young stars to the clouds that spawn them,” stated Stahler.
According to the team, all of the “wide binary” systems with separated stars were very young. A series of statistical models also followed. These analyzed and tried to account for the relative numbers of young single stars and also binaries. Results show that such values could be reached only if all stars initially formed as wide binaries.
Still, in the majority of cases, the stars seemingly either break apart or shrink “within a million years”. The team concludes that this was the most likely faith of or Sun and its Nemesis.
A study paper will be published in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
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