May 10, 2014
An international team of researchers led by astronomer Ivan Ramirez at the University of Texas in Austin has discovered what is being referred to as the sun’s “long-lost brother.” The star, identified as HD 162826, is believed to have been born of the same cluster as our own sun and is made of the same chemicals.
According to astronomers stars born of different clusters bear different chemical compositions, which means that finding two stars with identical compositions— as is this case for our sun its newly discovered sibling—indicates a shared origin. In the case of the sun, barium and yttrium have been identified as key distinguishing elements.
HD 162826 is fifteen percent more massive than our own sun, would have emerged from the same gas cloud roughly 4.5 billion years ago, and is located 110 light years away in the Hercules constellation.