THE sun could have been born with an ‘evil twin’ responsible for some of the deadliest extinction events in Earth’s history.
Scientists have been working on a hypothesis which suggests that the majority of stars are formed in a binary system, meaning there would be more than one star.
Researchers from the UC Berkeley and the Harvard-Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory have been studying a dust cloud in the Perseus constellation, and concluded that the ‘born together’ theory is probably correct.
UC Berkeley astronomer Steven Stahler said: “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.”
The research, as part of the VLA nascent disk and multiplicity (VANDAM) survey, shows twin stars separated by 500 astronomical units or over are ‘Class 0’.
The star could be responsible for major extinction events
Class 1 star systems are closer, at about 200 AU from each other.
The giant ball of fire at the centre of our solar system would be no exception, researchers say, and that it’s twin, which has been dubbed ‘Nemesis’, could be responsible for mass-extinction events throughout history.
Our sun would likely be part of a Class 0 system, which would explain why we can’t see its twin.
The ‘born together’ theory could fit with a devastating hypothesis suggested 23 years ago by another UC Berkley astronomer, Richard Muller.
Mr Muller came up with the idea there was a red-dwarf star on an egg-shaped orbit which travels from our solar system, into the depths of space and back again every 27 million years, with its gravitational pull bringing back the likes of asteroid.
As the other star travels through our solar system, asteroids clash with planets. This, Mr Fuller says, could be the reason why there are extinction events every 27 million years – including the one which wiped out the dinosaurs.
Mr Stahler says this could be the case, but that Nemesis is likely gone by now.
He said: “We are saying, yes, there probably was a Nemesis, a long time ago.”
The Nemesis theory has been around for a while, so the MSM’s “shock” claim may be a bit OTT (Even inspired a couple of popular songs). Of course “Nemesis” has never been found, hence the revised claim that our “evil twin” sun has since departed the solar system. So does that mean the end of mass extinction events? Is that what these scientists are saying? No doubt Nibiru believers will disagree (Nibiru has been “imminent” for an awfully long time now, fuelling my scepticism!). Personally I’d say this is one of many valid theories about the mechanism for mass extinction, and we aren’t out of the woods by any means.