THE Sun which nourishes Earth once had an “evil twin” called Nemesis which may have been responsible for the death of the dinosaurs, top astronomers have claimed.
Two highly-respected stargazers from the University of Berkeley and the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory at Harvard University said our star had a “sibling” when it was born 4.5 billion years ago, reports The Sun.In a statement, Berkeley made the astonishing suggestion that this prodigal sun “kicked an asteroid into Earth’s orbit that collided with our planet and exterminated the dinosaurs”.
However, this mystery star has never been found and scientists have not been able to unequivocally prove its role in the demise of our planet’s extinct lizard kings.
The two astronomers have just published a paper suggesting that most stars form in pairs, indicating that our own star’s lost sibling was not particularly unusual.
“The idea that many stars form with a companion has been suggested before, but the question is: how many?” said Sarah Sadavoy, a NASA Hubble fellow at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and one of the report’s authors.“Based on our simple model, we say that nearly all stars form with a companion.”
Nemesis would not have directly killed the dinosaurs by one day emerging on the horizon and boiling the beasts alive. Its gravitational tug may have sent a rogue asteroid heading into the solar system on a collision course with Earth.
“We are saying, yes, there probably was a Nemesis, a long time ago,” said co-author Steven Stahler, a UC Berkeley research astronomer.
“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, and the only model that could reproduce the data was one in which all stars form initially as wide binaries.“These systems then either shrink or break apart within a million years.”
If the sun did have an evil twin, it would have probably been 17 times further away from the sun than Neptune, the most distant planet. This is a distance of about forty-six billion five hundred million miles (46,500,000,000 miles).
NASA recently announced a mission to “touch the sun” as part of a daring attempt to predict catastrophic solar storms.
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