Saturday, August 31, 2013

Astronomers excited: discovery of solar twin solves cosmic mystery - ABC Online

researchers tracked the hitherto oldest Sun-like star in the universe. Thus they not only get a sense of how the sun will look like in four billion years ago, but still solve another mystery in cosmology.

He is like our sun more than any other star. Only in one respect he differs: With an age of 8.2 billion years it is nearly twice as old as our Sun, which was 4.65 billion years ago. The speech is from the distant star HIP 102152, prepared by an international team of astronomers now adopted under the microscope. It is 250 light years from Earth and is in the constellation Capricornus (Capricorn). For their analysis, the researchers used a special spectrograph of the Very Large Telescope (VLT) of the European Southern Observatory, which is on Mount Paranal in the Chilean Atacama Desert.The findings inspire astronomers. Because they can not only see how our sun evolved and will look in four billion years, but also give information about the chemical composition of solar-like stars. “For decades, astronomers have searched for twins of the sun, to better understand our life-giving star,” says Jorge Melendez of the Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil. “Since the discovery of the first twin 1997, only very few more were discovered. Now we have thanks to the VLT spectra of special quality and can examine these twins just to find out whether the sun is somehow special. “Melendez led the research group that their study in the journal” Astrophysical Journal Letters “published.

Fact our Sun is the best-studied star at all. For 400 years, astronomers observe our Sun with scientific instruments. But while they could learn something about its current state, but little about his past or future. Although there are models of stellar evolution, which allow certain conclusions. However, to validate this, astronomers must study more sun-like stars that are located in other stages of development. Melendez and his colleagues took to the star HIP 102152 18 Scorpii and even targeted. 18 Scorpii was known that he is younger than the Sun, while HIP 102152 was considered older.

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