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Astronomers Identify the Sun's Long-Lost Sister

samzenpus posted about 7 months ago | from the star-family dept.

Space 69

An anonymous reader writes "A team of researchers led by astronomer Ivan Ramirez of the University of Texas — Austin has identified the first 'sibling' of the sun, a star almost certainly born from the same cloud of gas and dust as our star. 'Astronomers had been observing the star for almost two decades without realizing it's the long-lost sister of the Sun. No doubt we have catalogued other solar siblings whose common heritage has yet to be discovered. Indeed, the UT team, lead by astronomer Ivan Ramirez, is confident that the identification of HD 162826 is just the beginning. "We want to know where we were born," Ramirez said in a statement. "If we can figure out in what part of the galaxy the Sun formed, we can constrain conditions on the early solar system. That could help us understand why we are here."'"

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Believe it or not (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46977557)

I am walking on air! And here, meet my sister. Long lost sister. Sure she's a girl.

Re:Believe it or not (4, Funny)

durrr (1316311) | about 7 months ago | (#46977685)

I was a bit skeptic when I heard that she weights even more than her sister, but it turns out she's not only incredibly hot, she's also radiant and an important central figure.

Re:Believe it or not (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46977743)

She's like most of the other girls, only someone claims her to be a close relative. Of course if the claim were otherwise you'd have never known she (et al.) even existed, just like all the others.

Re:Believe it or not (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46977771)

If you think her sister is fat, you should see her momma!

Re:Believe it or not (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46978537)

Re:Believe it or not (0)

racoon00 (2588849) | about 7 months ago | (#46977773)

How did they decide whether it's a sister or brother?

Re:Believe it or not (4, Funny)

durrr (1316311) | about 7 months ago | (#46977815)

Men don't have cycles, or spotting, and doesn't discharge things quite as often.
They also don't become deficient of certain products in old age which causes them to rapidly change appearance.

Re:Believe it or not (3, Funny)

Ogive17 (691899) | about 7 months ago | (#46977941)

You forgot about the part about blowing up when exhausted.

Re:Believe it or not (2)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 7 months ago | (#46977951)

+1 Nasal caffeine.

Re:Believe it or not (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46978505)

men don't [...] discharge things quite as often.

i've got some news for you..

Re:Believe it or not (2)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 7 months ago | (#46979147)

> Men ... doesn't discharge things quite as often

Obviously you've never seen the floor around the wastebasket in a teenage boy's room.

Re:Believe it or not (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46980349)

Men don't have cycles, or spotting, and doesn't discharge things quite as often.

Speak for yourself!

Re:Believe it or not (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46986991)

don't tell Her that. hell hath no fury like a scorching sun.

Re:Believe it or not (1)

Sique (173459) | about 7 months ago | (#46979129)

From grammar. In most languages of the world, the word for Sun is male. Exceptions are the germanic languages, where the Sun is female, and interestingly though slavic languages, where the Sun is actually a neutrum.

Re:Believe it or not (1)

NonUniqueNickname (1459477) | about 7 months ago | (#46979937)

Romance languages go Sun -> Male, Moon -> Female. Semitic languages go Sun -> Female, Moon -> Male . Exact opposites yet quite close geographically. Long story short, assignment of gender to inanimate objects is largely arbitrary unless the object really looks like a penis or a vagina. Bunch of pervs that we are. Not that the two or three billion people who speak genderless languages aren't pervs. Japanese, for example, is genderless.

Re:Believe it or not (1)

almitydave (2452422) | about 7 months ago | (#46981033)

Although the word sister can also mean "of the same type or origin", and is often used in English to describe similar things, especially if they come from the same place. You often hear of "sister ships" or "sister cities", and although these words have gender in other languages, they don't in English (though it derives from gendered languages). I think it's in this sense that the article refers to the "sun's sister".

Re:Believe it or not (1)

NonUniqueNickname (1459477) | about 7 months ago | (#46982989)

Interesting. There is an asymmetry between "brother" and "sister" in the dictionary: "sisters" may mean a kinship group of objects, but "brothers" may not. The article consistently refers to stars as “it” (except for sister stars), so I endorse your interpretation.

Re:Believe it or not (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46978109)

All hail Sol invictus.

Re:Believe it or not (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46978493)

I have a long, fat sausage to give to your sister. I would like you to be there to watch.

Also, I will wait until some real scientists confirm this "finding" by some random, redneck, Texan hicks

Why we are here? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46977577)

Easy. First post!

Re:Why we are here? (0)

Andtalath (1074376) | about 7 months ago | (#46977593)

Fail.

DNA testing has gone so far to reach the stars! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46977579)

Was a baby girl?

Utah? Interesting (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46977613)

Maybe they are searching for the 100,000 best suns for heaven? I kid, but it is interesting how the interests of local cultural importance can influence. Maybe they plan to pick the best suns for their magic underwear ruled earths. OK, I'll stop. Mormons are awesome people and if they would have kept the poly I would be happy to join them crazies.

Sol Sister (4, Funny)

dhaen (892570) | about 7 months ago | (#46977617)

It's the best I can do!

Re:Sol Sister (2)

gigne (990887) | about 7 months ago | (#46978031)

well played sir, well played.

No mod points :(

Re:Sol Sister (3, Funny)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about 7 months ago | (#46978943)

How about, "But is she hot?"

Re:Sol Sister (1)

evilviper (135110) | about 7 months ago | (#46982617)

"Star spangled banner flutters in the sky
Time hustles those who wait to die

Sweet sol sister
Keep on pushing till the dawn, well
Sweet sol sister
Forever dancing on and on"
-The Cult

Money? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46977619)

A long lost relative? Is it rich? Have we asked it for money, yet?

No photos?! (2, Funny)

Edis Krad (1003934) | about 7 months ago | (#46977647)

Awww c'mon. No photos?! Now I'll keep wondering if Sol's sister was hot or not.
Well, if it runs in the family, I'd say maybe yea... a few thousand kelvin hot ;)

Re:No photos?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46978127)

Here you go: http://www.thesurfaceofthesun.com/

Sister? (2, Funny)

Threni (635302) | about 7 months ago | (#46977665)

Surely if it's a son it should be its brother?

Re:Sister? (2)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 7 months ago | (#46977749)

Perhaps, but only if your own sentient birthing vessel wandered into your teenage years oedipal style.

Is the day after maternal appreciation ceremonies too soon?

Boooriing (2)

jones_supa (887896) | about 7 months ago | (#46977679)

Where's all the cool aliens? Where's the "earth-like planet" which we can immediately conquer and start growing maize on?

What's amazing is that... (4, Interesting)

Beck_Neard (3612467) | about 7 months ago | (#46977687)

On average, that star has only been moving away from the sun at about 16 miles per hour. There are people who can run faster. Yet after these billions of years, even that snail's pace has been enough to put 110 light years between us.

Re:What's amazing is that... (3, Interesting)

Beck_Neard (3612467) | about 7 months ago | (#46977699)

To reply to my own comment, it's unlikely that that star has been moving away at a steady speed though. Most likely it's been through an insane trajectory that has at times taken it very far away and at times closer, as it orbits around the center of the milky way along with the sun.

Re:What's amazing is that... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46977775)

How big of a comic book geek am I that my first thought is, "Yet another refueling pitstop for Kal-El of Krypton." IE Superman.
Reminded of how in Smallville Clark, played by Tom Welling, discovered his powers come from Earth's yellow sun, when during a solar flare his powers went on overdrive then went away and then overdrive.. at one point he tried to lift a tractor and threw it half way across Smallville, and it almost landed on his future boss, Perry White.

Re:What's amazing is that... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46977865)

Wait wait wait, Clark was Superman?! A little spoiler warning next time, please!

Re:What's amazing is that... (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | about 7 months ago | (#46978297)

If memory serves me correctly, he also can be powered by other colors of stars, except red of course. Last Son of Krypton mentions blue, though he had reduced powers because of it.

Re:What's amazing is that... (1)

dbarron (286) | about 7 months ago | (#46978357)

Ok, as I recall, hotter suns like blue and white, would increase his powers. Cooler, like red or brown would reduce them.

Re:What's amazing is that... (2)

rasmusbr (2186518) | about 7 months ago | (#46978491)

The paper is freely available online and you can see distance and speed estimates on the bottom row of charts at page 13: http://www.as.utexas.edu/~ivan... [utexas.edu]

This star is thought to have been following a fairly predictable orbit over the last 4 billion years, which is one of the reasons why they're able to point to it as a potential sibling of the Sun. That is the researchers think that there is a decent probability that it has based on a simulation.

Re:What's amazing is that... (2)

careysub (976506) | about 7 months ago | (#46978831)

To reply to my own comment, it's unlikely that that star has been moving away at a steady speed though. Most likely it's been through an insane trajectory that has at times taken it very far away and at times closer, as it orbits around the center of the milky way along with the sun.

Not necessarily. We know of several associations of stars called "moving groups" (the Ursa Major/Big Dipper constellation is largely the core one such group) that have a common origin -- they have the same space velocity vector, and are the same age, and are still relatively close to together in space after hundreds of millions or even billions of years (the Zeta Herculis Moving Group appears to be the oldest known so far -- somewhat older than our own sun). The shared vector means that the stars in a cluster are not going to disperse very far, they will all orbit together in a (slowly growing) region of dispersion.

Re:What's amazing is that... (1)

StripedCow (776465) | about 7 months ago | (#46978129)

There are people who can run faster.

Not through empty space, though.

Re:What's amazing is that... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46978211)

Or for billions of years.

Re:What's amazing is that... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46978403)

Yeah only The Runner [wikipedia.org] can do that.

Why we are here...? (5, Funny)

DrPBacon (3044515) | about 7 months ago | (#46977825)

I thought science had basically decided that we are here simply because we are not over there.

Re:Why we are here...? (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 7 months ago | (#46978033)

That doesn't sound very falsifiable.

Re:Why we are here...? (2)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 7 months ago | (#46978223)

It has but philosophy will continue to ask "why".

Re:Why we are here...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46981363)

It has but philosophy will continue to ask "why".

As in "why do you want fries with that?"

Re:Why we are here...? (1)

Flavianoep (1404029) | about 7 months ago | (#46979035)

I thought science had basically decided that we are here simply because we are not over there.

...and then proceeded to create a model to explain how we get here from wherever we come from.

Re:Why we are here...? (1)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | about 7 months ago | (#46979559)

I realize you were joking; that explains "How", but not the

* "What caused the Big Bang in the first place?"
* "If energy can never be created, nor destroyed -- the universe has always existed in some form -- then Why do we even exist at all?", that is,
* "What is the purpose of the universe?" (Answer: Relationships, which is just a short way of saying "To Know Itself.")
* "Why does Time appear to only flow in one direction?" (Answer: The brain wasn't designed to perceived the infinite; only the linear, otherwise the brain would "short-circuit" and burn itself out)
* "Why do we dream?" (Answer: The higher-mind uses the universal language of symbols to communicate with the lower-brain.)

Science, like all applied philosophy, has a domain; an edge to its knowledge - it is limited in what it IS able to know, and NOT able to know.

Inside it, Science is a fantastic logical system.
Outside its domain, Science is completely useless.

How is Science incomplete?

Science by definition is amoral. It asks " How can we build this nuke?" but it never stops to ask "Should we build this weapon?" It is not interested in morality, ethics, "consequences", etc. Only knowledge on its quest for Truth.

Science will never understand the complementary "Life Before Life" nor "Life After Death" until it merges with Spirituality -- it will forever be incomplete as long as consciousness is ignored from the equations. To understand consciousness is to understand Death; to understand Death one first needs to understand Life; to understand Life is to understand the Linear and Non-Linear. Currently, Science doesn't have a clue about embracing the polar opposite system of lower linear Logic at a higher level: non-linear Intuition.

The weakness of Science is that it is not able to go outside its own box; thus it is trapped in its own system of knowledge. Together the linear Logic and non-linear Intuition blend together to a greater understanding. For example, the higher-mind can teach you that Science will one day discover: White Holes, see the quantum energy exchange between White Holes and Black Holes, Silicon will be used as new basis of consciousness with true Actual Intelligence (a.i.) instead of the fake Artificial Ignorance (A.I.), that there are 6 fundamental forces, that First Contact will happen by 2024, that Judaism + Christianity + Islam will eventually unite as they learn to set aside their differences and respect what they have in common, etc.

Science is a fantastic system to understand Truth (by removing Falsehood).
But it is only half of the (wonderful) picture of Reality.

I vote we name it... (0)

taiwanjohn (103839) | about 7 months ago | (#46978051)

Lady Marmalade [youtube.com]

Hey Sister, Go Sister, Sol Sister, Go Sister
Hey Sister, Go Sister, Sol Sister, Go Sister

Sister? (3, Funny)

EvilSS (557649) | about 7 months ago | (#46978237)

I think the more amazing thing from this article is that we've apparently figured out how to identify the gender or a star.

Re:Sister? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46978517)

It's obviously the result of deeply ingrained gender bias. Why aren't we referring to the star as "it" or alternately he/she? Why do men *always* get the raw end of this astronomical deal? It's a conspiracy I tell you! Skull and bones my brothers!

Re:Sister? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46978535)

Yeah, I thought we were going with the sun being masculine and the moon being feminine. When did this change?

Re:Sister? (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 7 months ago | (#46978647)

There's a convention in English to refer to related inanimate objects as sisters. Sister-ships, for example. "Brother" doesn't tend to get used. No idea where it comes from mind you.

Re:Sister? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46978779)

A friend of mine would scold me for not scolding you about the difference between gender and sex.

Re:Sister? (1)

aristotle-dude (626586) | about 7 months ago | (#46978969)

A friend of mine would scold me for not scolding you about the difference between gender and sex.

Uh, in the natural state, they are the same thing. You have to apply technology to making someone appear a different gender on the outside sort of but you cannot change their sex. The reality is that everyone can tell the difference between a natural woman and a transexual. It is blindingly obvious and no amount of facial surgery can change that.

Re:Sister? (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 7 months ago | (#46979383)

It's not like there are any individuals in other species with the gross physical features of one gender but the reproductive characteristics of the other, right? That never happens.

Re:Sister? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46979925)

I suppose I should have made it explicitly clear that my statement was very tongue-in-cheek. What's 'natural' is rather subjective, and given our relatively short run on this planet, a little bit short sighted.

Not that any of this matters, we're talking about a star... it's the matter that matters!

Re:Sister? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 7 months ago | (#46979069)

I could now start with a lame joke about how everyone has a gender but only certain people have sex... but it's just not fair, that's cheap.

Re:Sister? (1)

evilviper (135110) | about 7 months ago | (#46982275)

I think the more amazing thing from this article is that we've apparently figured out how to identify the gender or a star.

It's not difficult at all, in the simple cases. Boy stars are BLUE, and girl stars are PINK.

"What about the other colors" you ask? Well, there's a reason the GLBT flag is a rainbow. Some of the stars out there are FLAMING in more ways than one.

Re:Sister? (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | about 7 months ago | (#46985549)

We've been doing this for years already. The only star we don't really know the gender if is Lady Gaga

The sun has a sister ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46978275)

Nice, let's have a family meeting !

over 20 orbits around galazy since formation (2)

peter303 (12292) | about 7 months ago | (#46978931)

Of Sun, Earth and sister stars. They may have been separated somewhat in that time. One revolution = 1/4 billion years.

Re:over 20 orbits around galazy since formation (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 7 months ago | (#46979081)

Now that's a frequency of family reunions even I can enjoy!

Astronomers Identify The Sun's Long-Lost Sister (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46980911)

The News of the World

While everyone is doing women jokes.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46986143)

RAMIREZ! FIND SUN'S LONG-LOST SISTER STAR!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PkuLj5uCgSk

Wasn't EVERYTHING born from the same cloud of gas? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46987349)

Right?

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