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Astronomers find Sun’s 'sibling'
World | science | 12:49, 12 May 2014 | 610

AKIPRESS.COM - nasa Researchers from the University of Texas at Austin found the first "sibling" of the sun after closely studying 30 possible candidates. Their finding may help shed light on the formation of life on planets.

This sibling of the sun, dubbed as HD 162826, is 15 times bigger than our Sun and is situated 110 light-years away in the constellation Hercules. The researchers used low-power binoculars to see it as it not visible to the naked eye.

Ivan Ramirez, lead researcher of the study, and his colleagues studied 30 stars that could be the sun's siblings using high-resolution spectroscopy. This scientific tool enabled them to fully discern each of the stars chemical composition. Aside from looking at the chemical composition of the stars, they also observed their individual orbits as they travel around the center of the Milky Way. In the end, they all agreed that they have found our sun's sibling: the HD 162826.

The researchers plan to further study HD 162826 to understand the formation of suns and the solar system as a whole.

"We want to know where we were born," Ramirez said in a university news release. "If we can figure out in what part of the galaxy the sun formed, we can constrain conditions on the early solar system. That could help us understand why we are here."

Ramirez admitted that the possibility of the HD 162826 hosting life is small but not impossible. Researchers plan to create a road map that they can use to identify other siblings of the sun and collect data to create the largest and most precise 3-D map of the Milky Way. They need to narrow the search so that they can save time instead of reviewing each star they see.

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