All stars could have a twin, our sun included

Ever since the 1980s, scientists have largely dismissed the idea that our sun could have a long-lost twin. But a study published last month in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society finds that this idea may not be so far-fetched. Researchers examined much younger, sunlike stars that exist in Perseus, a gas-filled cloud some 600 light-years from Earth. Results and simulations suggested that all stars start out as wide binaries—pairs of celestial bodies orbiting each other more than 500 astronomical units apart, The Atlantic reports. Whereas some sibling stars grew closer together, others, like our sun, drifted apart millions of years later. Separation early on in the lives of these stars would explain why our 4.5-billion-year-old sun’s possible twin hasn’t been observed by astronomers—yet.

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