The Sun Might Have Had An Evil Twin ‘Nemesis’

First Posted: Jun 14, 2017 05:20 AM EDT

The Sun once had a twin, and in fact, all stars are born in pairs, a new research has suggested. Incidentally, researchers have previously hypothesized that the Sun was originally part of a stellar duo and had a twin called Nemesis. However, scientists could not find definite proof to support the theory.

According to Science Alert, a team of researchers recently conducted a survey of newly created stars in a gigantic molecular cloud located in the constellation Perseus. When the research team tried to make a model in agreement with the cloud of stars, they detected that only simulations exclusively featuring binary systems could explain the Perseus molecular cloud.

The research team came up with a variety of mathematical models to explain the distribution of the newborn stars in the large cloud in the constellation Perseus. They concluded that the only way the stars’ distribution makes sense is if all the stars that had masses similar to the Sun had originated with distant twins. Moreover, about 60 percent of the pairs presumably split up, and the rest eased in nearer to one another over the course of a million years.

“We ran a series of statistical models to see if we could account for the relative populations of young single stars and binaries of all separations in the Perseus molecular cloud," research astronomer Steven Stahler said in a news release. "The only model that could reproduce the data was one in which all stars form initially as wide binaries.”

The results back up computer simulations that previously suggested that stars form in twos and younger stars are more likely to form binary pairs than older stars. However, the study authors feel that the findings need to be checked in other star-forming clouds and more research is needed in this field. If the results can be replicated, they will provide new proof that the Sun began life as part of a duo and formed with a non-identical, evil twin that was located 17 times farther away than Neptune.

The sibling, dubbed as Nemesis, escaped shortly after birth in all likelihood. According to some astronomers, Nemesis’ gravity put an asteroid into a collision course with Earth. In fact, it was the same asteroid that led to the extinction of dinosaurs 66 million years ago.

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