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HD 162826: The Sun Has A Twin-Sister?

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HD 162826: The Sun Has A Twin-Sister?

A star, known as HD 162826 and considered twin-sister of the Sun, located at a distance of 2,500 light-years from Earth, was discovered recently by scientists.

Although astronomers have discovered 1,000 exoplanets in the last years, the recent discovery of three extremely hot planets in a star cluster, located 2,500 light-years away from Earth, has excited researchers. One of these three exoplanets orbiting a star that is almost identical to our Sun in terms of almost all its features.

HD 162826: a star like our sun in Messier 67

Location of Messier 67, location of the twin-sister sun

  The astronomers used the HARPS telescope from Chile, run by European Southern Observatory (ESO), together with other telescopes around the world to reveal three planets which orbiting around stars in the cluster Messier 67 in the constellation Cancer. This is the first “twin-star” of the Sun discovered in a star cluster, which has a planet orbiting around it.

This exoplanet, recently discovered, is about a third of the mass of Jupiter and performs a complete revolution around its star in 6.9 days. On its surfac, temperature may reach value higher than the temperature of a furnace.

Only a few planets have been discovered orbiting other stars similar to our Sun, as HD 187123 and HD 86226, but neither of them is located into a star cluster.

So it could be argued that solar siblings are key candidates in the search for extraterrestrial life,

Ivan Ramirez noted in a release.

With new surveys, including an ongoing study by Europe’s Gaia telescope, more solar siblings should be discovered soon,

Ramirez writes.

The study, conducted over a period of six years, was coordinated by Anna Brucalassi from Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics in Garching, Germany.

The study is set to appear in an upcoming edition of the Astrophysical Journal, but you can read it here (pdf): “Elemental Abundances of Solar Sibling Candidates.“.

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