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Space Sun Microsystems

Astronomers Identify the Sun's Long-Lost Sister 69

Posted by samzenpus
from the star-family dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A team of researchers led by astronomer Ivan Ramirez of the University of Texas — Austin has identified the first 'sibling' of the sun, a star almost certainly born from the same cloud of gas and dust as our star. 'Astronomers had been observing the star for almost two decades without realizing it's the long-lost sister of the Sun. No doubt we have catalogued other solar siblings whose common heritage has yet to be discovered. Indeed, the UT team, lead by astronomer Ivan Ramirez, is confident that the identification of HD 162826 is just the beginning. "We want to know where we were born," Ramirez said in a statement. "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."'"
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Astronomers Identify the Sun's Long-Lost Sister

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  • Sol Sister (Score:5, Funny)

    by dhaen (892570) on Monday May 12, 2014 @04:39AM (#46977617)
    It's the best I can do!
  • No photos?! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Edis Krad (1003934) on Monday May 12, 2014 @04:54AM (#46977647)
    Awww c'mon. No photos?! Now I'll keep wondering if Sol's sister was hot or not.
    Well, if it runs in the family, I'd say maybe yea... a few thousand kelvin hot ;)
  • Sister? (Score:2, Funny)

    by Threni (635302)

    Surely if it's a son it should be its brother?

    • Perhaps, but only if your own sentient birthing vessel wandered into your teenage years oedipal style.

      Is the day after maternal appreciation ceremonies too soon?

  • by jones_supa (887896) on Monday May 12, 2014 @05:11AM (#46977679)
    Where's all the cool aliens? Where's the "earth-like planet" which we can immediately conquer and start growing maize on?
  • by Beck_Neard (3612467) on Monday May 12, 2014 @05:13AM (#46977687)

    On average, that star has only been moving away from the sun at about 16 miles per hour. There are people who can run faster. Yet after these billions of years, even that snail's pace has been enough to put 110 light years between us.

    • by Beck_Neard (3612467) on Monday May 12, 2014 @05:18AM (#46977699)

      To reply to my own comment, it's unlikely that that star has been moving away at a steady speed though. Most likely it's been through an insane trajectory that has at times taken it very far away and at times closer, as it orbits around the center of the milky way along with the sun.

      • by rasmusbr (2186518)

        The paper is freely available online and you can see distance and speed estimates on the bottom row of charts at page 13: http://www.as.utexas.edu/~ivan... [utexas.edu]

        This star is thought to have been following a fairly predictable orbit over the last 4 billion years, which is one of the reasons why they're able to point to it as a potential sibling of the Sun. That is the researchers think that there is a decent probability that it has based on a simulation.

      • by careysub (976506)

        To reply to my own comment, it's unlikely that that star has been moving away at a steady speed though. Most likely it's been through an insane trajectory that has at times taken it very far away and at times closer, as it orbits around the center of the milky way along with the sun.

        Not necessarily. We know of several associations of stars called "moving groups" (the Ursa Major/Big Dipper constellation is largely the core one such group) that have a common origin -- they have the same space velocity vector, and are the same age, and are still relatively close to together in space after hundreds of millions or even billions of years (the Zeta Herculis Moving Group appears to be the oldest known so far -- somewhat older than our own sun). The shared vector means that the stars in a clust

    • There are people who can run faster.

      Not through empty space, though.

  • by DrPBacon (3044515) on Monday May 12, 2014 @06:12AM (#46977825)
    I thought science had basically decided that we are here simply because we are not over there.
    • by MightyYar (622222)

      That doesn't sound very falsifiable.

    • by StripedCow (776465) on Monday May 12, 2014 @07:37AM (#46978145)

      Obligatory Sesame-street:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

    • It has but philosophy will continue to ask "why".
    • I thought science had basically decided that we are here simply because we are not over there.

      ...and then proceeded to create a model to explain how we get here from wherever we come from.

    • I realize you were joking; that explains "How", but not the

      * "What caused the Big Bang in the first place?"
      * "If energy can never be created, nor destroyed -- the universe has always existed in some form -- then Why do we even exist at all?", that is,
      * "What is the purpose of the universe?" (Answer: Relationships, which is just a short way of saying "To Know Itself.")
      * "Why does Time appear to only flow in one direction?" (Answer: The brain wasn't designed to perceived the infinite; only the linear, otherw

  • Lady Marmalade [youtube.com]

    Hey Sister, Go Sister, Sol Sister, Go Sister
    Hey Sister, Go Sister, Sol Sister, Go Sister

  • Sister? (Score:4, Funny)

    by EvilSS (557649) on Monday May 12, 2014 @07:51AM (#46978237)
    I think the more amazing thing from this article is that we've apparently figured out how to identify the gender or a star.
    • by Sockatume (732728)

      There's a convention in English to refer to related inanimate objects as sisters. Sister-ships, for example. "Brother" doesn't tend to get used. No idea where it comes from mind you.

    • by evilviper (135110)

      I think the more amazing thing from this article is that we've apparently figured out how to identify the gender or a star.

      It's not difficult at all, in the simple cases. Boy stars are BLUE, and girl stars are PINK.

      "What about the other colors" you ask? Well, there's a reason the GLBT flag is a rainbow. Some of the stars out there are FLAMING in more ways than one.

    • by thegarbz (1787294)

      We've been doing this for years already. The only star we don't really know the gender if is Lady Gaga

  • by peter303 (12292) on Monday May 12, 2014 @09:20AM (#46978931)
    Of Sun, Earth and sister stars. They may have been separated somewhat in that time. One revolution = 1/4 billion years.

10.0 times 0.1 is hardly ever 1.0.

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